The Untold Story of Sacco and Vanzetti (Documentary)

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On the 80th anniversary of their execution, the new documentary SACCO AND VANZETTI brings to life the story of Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti, two Italian immigrant anarchists accused of a muder in 1920, and executed in Boston in 1927 after a notoriously prejudiced trial. It is the first major documentary film about this landmark story.

The ordeal of Sacco and Vanzetti came to symbolize the bigotry and intolerance directed at immigrants and dissenters in America.  Millions of people in the U.S. and around the world protested on their behalf, and today, the story continues to have great resonance, as civil liberties and the rights of immigrants are again under attack.

Actors John Turturro and Tony Shalhoub read the powerful prison writings of Sacco and Vanzetti, and a chorus of passionate commentators also propel the narrative, including Howard Zinn, Arlo Guthrie, Studs Terkel, as well as several people with personal connections to the story. 

The Sacco and Vanzetti story has attracted some extraordinary artists over the years, including Ben Shahn, Woody Guthrie, Dorothy Parker, Upton Sinclair, Edna St. Vincent Millay, Joan Baez, and Diego Rivera, among others. Artwork, music, poetry, and feature film clips about the case are interwoven with the narrative.

SACCO AND VANZETTI will be available on DVD beginning August 21, 2007.

Director Peter Miller states: “The story of Sacco and Vanzetti has urgent lessons to offer Americans today, and I have stayed up late for years and driven myself into debt in order to make this film and get this story told. As in the ‘red scare’ of Sacco and Vanzetti’s time, present-day Americans have allowed fear and jingoism to erode our civil liberties, scape-goat immigrants, and compromise our judicial system. But even without the present-day connections, the story of Sacco and Vanzetti is a subject of extraordinary drama with unforgettable characters. I believe that an understanding of the past is essential for changing society in the present, and I look forward to bringing the story of Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti to audiences at a time when their message is more important than ever.”

Peter Miller is a documentary filmmaker based in New York. His most recent work, The Internationale, about the legendary song of socialism and communism, was broadcast on PBS in 2002, received nominations for International Documentary Association awards in three categories, won Best Short Documentary at the Woodstock Film Festival, and was short-listed for an Oscar nomination. Peter has worked as a producer with Ken Burns on numerous projects, including the Jazz series, the Peabody Award-winning Frank Lloyd Wright, and the forthcoming series The War. He co-produced the labor history documentary The Uprising of ’34 (directed by George Stoney and Judith Helfand), co-produced Julia Newman’s Into the Fire (about American women in the Spanish Civil War), and produced the award-winning Black Panther documentary Passin’ It On (directed by John Valadez), which won over twenty film festival prizes including the Grand Prize at the USA Film Festival. He was coordinating producer of Barbara Kopple’s Academy Award-winning American Dream.  
 DVD Bonus Features: Interview with Director • Sacco and Vanzetti F.A.Q. • Archival Photo Gallery • Suggested Readings • More!

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