South Philly mobsters 'Uncle Joe', 'The Gentle Don' to hit big screen
With real-life South Philly characters "Uncle Joe" Ligambi, "Skinny Joey" Merlino and Angelo "The Gentle Don" Bruno peppering Tigre Hill's new documentary on organized crime, it's bound to be a hit.
Hill described the forthcoming documentary as focusing on the detrimental effect of organized crime on society, as well as its impact on the economies of its host cities. The film covers the mob's influence in cities across the country, but takes heavily from the mob's impact on Hill's native city of Philadelphia.
"Philly was so unique," Hill said, "even the mafia was saying, 'What the (expletive) is going on in Philly?'"
The film bookends with Philly elite, beginning with Salvatore Sabella, who Hill claims is the first known Sicilian Mafia boss in Philly, and it concludes with Merlino's fall.
"A lot of old mobsters have no respect for Merlino," Hill said, "Not that they're worthy of respect."
The filmaker - known for tackling such controversial issues such as the 2003 mayor's race and the 1981 murder of Philadelphia Police Officer Daniel Faulkner by Mumia Abu-Jamal - said the project will be finished in May.