Wednesday, August 31, 2016
By GUY D’ASTOLFO
“Traficant: The Congressman of Crimetown,” a documentary on the late U.S. Rep. Jim Traficant, will be available on Vimeo’s on-demand service beginning Friday.
The film was written, directed and produced by local filmmaker Eric Murphy and premiered in March 2015 at the Cleveland International Film Festival. It details the political life of the colorful and controversial Traficant, who represented the Mahoning Valley.
The fees at vimeo.com will be $5.99 to view and $10.99 to purchase. In October, the film also will become available on internet retailers iTunes and Amazon. Go to traficant-movie.com for information and to view the trailer.
The documentary also will be screened Oct. 1 and 2 at the Youngstown Playhouse. Times and ticket information have not yet been set. Murphy will attend both screenings for a post-show question-and-answer session.
Since its premiere, “Traficant” has been screened at other film venues, most notably the Austin (Texas) Film Festival, where it was nominated for a best documentary award.
With the presidential campaign season in full swing, Murphy said he hopes his film resonates with people beyond the Mahoning Valley. He sees a parallel between Traficant and Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump.
“The New York Times just ran an article about how Trump is trying to convert the Traficant supporters of the Mahoning Valley,” said Murphy.
“In some ways, Traficant was a predecessor to Trump in terms of rhetoric, appearance and his tell-it-like-it-is bombast. But the clear distinction is that Traficant literally was the son of a truck driver,” while Trump was born into a wealthy family.
The Traficant documentary includes interviews with actor Ed O’Neill, former boxing champion Ray “Boom Boom” Mancini, U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan and others.