Buddy, The Rise and Fall of America's Most Notorious Mayor

Jul 08, 2013

(Cherry Arnold, USA, 2007, Blu-ray, 86 min)

Introduced by Peter Steinbrueck

They say all politics begins locally, and if the life of Providence Mayor Buddy Cianci proves it, so does the political career of Peter Steinbrueck, a man whose father left an indelible mark on Seattle. While they both have well-known political names, the similarities stop there, so it's interesting that Steinbrueck selects Buddy, The Rise and Fall of America's Most Notorious Mayor, a portrait of the longest-serving mayor in modern day history. 

Vincent A. "Buddy" Cianci remains one of the country's most controversial political figures. Cianci's unflagging popularity and extraordinary career comebacks have baffled political analysts and frustrated federal investigators. Brilliant and aggressive, charming and ruthless, Cianci is described by supporters and critics alike as a political survivor.

Cherry Arnold's Emmy award-winning documentary paints a complex and compelling portrait about this often contradictory and always audacious public figure.  Cianci became the youngest man and the first Italian-American to become mayor of Providence, as well as the first Republican to unseat a Democrat stronghold of more than thirty years. From "Buddy's" early promise as an attorney prosecuting organized crime, to his success overseeing Providence's "renaissance," the film tracks Cianci's entanglements with city council opposition, union skirmishes, personal scandals and criminal indictments. The result is a fascinating study of American local politics and a surprising tale of a man who, in the words of one commentator, "has a city as his mistress."
>> This screening is part of our Mayoral Movies series, which features a collection of films selected and introduced by candidates for Seattle mayor. Get a series pass and see all of the Mayoral Movies at a deep discount! $20/Film Forum Members, $30/General Admission

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