Directed by Peter Miller (2006)
This film, featuring radical historians Howard Zinn and Studds Terkel, concerns the 1920 framing of Italian immigrants Sacco and Vanzetti for a murder they didn’t commit,
Sacco and Vanzetti begins by exploring the appalling working conditions most US immigrants faced in the early 20th century. These desperate conditions drew many European immigrants into an anarchist movement seeking to overthrow capitalism.
The most interesting part of the documentary is the trial, in which jurors clearly convicted Sacco and Vanzetti because they were immigrants and anarchists. The prosecution, aware the two men were innocent of murder, deliberately fabricated evidence against them.
Convicted of murder in connection with an armed robbery, they spent seven years unsuccessfully appealing the verdict. The third and final appeal (which went all the way to the Massachusetts Supreme Court) was based on a confession by a man belonging to the gang that had staged the robbery. During the entire seven years there were massive protests across the US, Europe, Japan, China and Africa demanding their release.
The city of Boston declared martial law the day they were executed – fearful the entire city would riot.
Although the film can’t be embedded, it can be viewed free at the following link: