SACCO AND VANZETTI
(Hristo Shopov as Katzman)
ORIGINAL TITLE: Sacco e Vanzetti.
DIRECTED BY: Fabrizio Costa.
MAIN CAST: Sergio Rubini, Hristo Shopov, Ennio Fantastichini, Anita Caprioli, Paraskeva Djukelova, Omero Antonutti, Nikolai Urumov, Ivailo Geraskov, Julian Vergov and Ivan Ivanov.
PRODUCED BY: Guido Lombardo (Titanus and Nimar Studios Ltd.).
WRITTEN BY: Pietro Calderoni and Gualtiero Rosella.
ORIGINAL MUSIC BY: Stefano Caprioli.
RUNTIME: 90 minutes (theatres) / 224 minutes (TV).
GENRE: History | Drama.
A film based on real facts that took place in the United States in the early 20th Century.
Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti are two Italian immigrants influenced by anarchist ideology who arrived in the United States in 1908. They soon find work in Boston (Massachusetts), a city heavily hit by worker strikes, rebellions and anarchists rallies, mostly by foreigners, who spread fear and distrust among the local people.
One day, two cashiers who transported the wages of the employees of a shoe factory are shot dead and the money, stolen. Sacco and Vanzetti are arrested as suspects.
Frederick Gunn Katzman (Hristo Shopov), prosecutor, doesn't hesitate to formally accuse both "damn Italians” of murder. Worse still, he will go to great pains to get a guilty verdict to send them straight to the electric chair.
The danger of anarchism is felt throughout all of North America, and Katzman sees the trial as a golden opportunity to punish the left and the immigrant community.
The film shows a carefully documented plot of the trial, with highly contradictory evidence. The storyline takes us to scenes of confrontation between the classes of Boston with a tough social struggle background where Katzman, an impeccable attorney educated at Harvard and firmly heading for a death verdict for the two "subversive" Italian immigrants, appears as the defender of the interests of the conservative political majority and of the feelings of the local white population.
Throughout the trial, Katzman will even refuse to review the proceedings despite another confession of a prisoner, who will admit that he was the main perpetrator of the crime, as well as refusing to consider new evidence that would complicate the involvement of the two anarchists.
This trial provoked numerous demonstrations of support for Sacco and Vanzetti all around the world, but the Massachusetts authorities didn't yield to international pressure.
In August 1927, both Italians were executed in the electric chair.
The debate continued for decades: was the case an example of mistaken identity or was it actually a political judgement?
The case of Sacco and Vanzetti has came to form part of the controversial judgements of history, despite the words of prosecutor Katzman, just before the final moment: "Once dead, no one will talk of them again".
* NOTE: The cinema version (apprixamtely 90 minutes) was shown in the 62nd Mostra di Venezia.