Sacco and Vanzetti | Chicago Reader

Sacco and Vanzetti

80 minutes

Peter Miller's concise and thoughtful 2005 documentary reexamines the notorious Sacco and Vanzetti case from the perspective of a post-9/11 world, where concern over public safety has once again empowered xenophobes and reactionaries to trample on the rights of immigrants. The defendants were involved with an Italian anarchist group that had staged a series of bombings, though as Miller establishes in his careful review of the trial, all the evidence linking them to a 1920 payroll robbery that left two men dead was either circumstantial or manufactured. The video lays bare the racial and political prejudice of the judge and jury, but it also argues that the defendants were ill served by their attorney, who foolishly tried to put capitalism on trial, and the Communist Party, which cynically exploited their martyrdom.

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