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"Sacco and Vanzetti". A film by Peter Miller
Article published on 6 April 2007
last modification on 26 April 2015

by r-c.
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81 minutes. Color/B & W

English

2006

An 80-minute-long documentary that tells the story of Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti, two Italian immigrant anarchists who were accused of a murder in 1920, and executed in Boston in 1927 after a notoriously prejudiced trial.

Directed by
PETER MILLER

Produced by
PETER MILLER &
AMY CAREY LINTON

Editor
AMY CAREY LINTON

Cinematography
STEPHEN MCCARTHY

Original Music
JOHN T. LABARBERA

Associate Producers
NICOLE OPPER,
GREG LINTON,
TOM ROCHE

Executive Producer
JESSE CRAWFORD

Voice of Nicola Sacco
TONY SHALHOUB

Voice of Bartolomeo Vanzetti
JOHN TURTURRO

Additional Voices
JOHN AMMERMAN,
WILLIAM MILLER,
ANTHONY RODRIGUEZ,
HOLLY STEVENSON

Project Advisors
ALEJANDRO ANREUS,
PAUL AVRICH,
PAUL BUHLE,
DAVID KAISER ,
FRASER M. OTTANELLI,
MICHAEL TOPP,
MARY ANNE TRASCIATTI,
NUNZIO PERNICONE

"The film Sacco and Vanzetti skillfully uses archival footage, artwork, music, poetry and film clips to trace the legal and political aspects of the case, and the emotions it aroused.

Actors John Turturro and Tony Shalhout read excerpts from the moving letters the two men wrote during their seven-year imprisonment, including one of Vanzetti’s last letters to his son.

"If it had not been for this thing, I might have lived out my life talking at street corners to scorning men," he wrote. "I might have died unmarked, unknown, a failure.

"Now we are not a failure. This is our career and our triumph. Never in our full life could we hope to do such work for tolerance, for justice, for man’s understanding of man, as now we do by accident."

Filmmaker Paul Miller, who spent four years and a great deal of borrowed money to create the documentary, points to his own Jewish background as a catalyst in his effort.

"My own grandfather came to Boston as an immigrant, and like many Jewish and Italian newcomers, was brutalized by the cops," Miller said during a phone interview. "My father was born in the Boston Jewish ghetto, and my mother couldn’t go to college because of the quota system."

"To many people, the Sacco-Vanzetti trial was a life-changing experience, which opened their eyes to many uncomfortable truths about the United States," said Miller, 45, who now lives in New York."

Jerusalem Post, March 27, 2007


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