85 minutes – Drama
Release date: February 11, 2005
Canadian distributor: The Galaxy Group
Looking for Angelina is based on a true story and is set in the Ontario city of Sault Ste. Marie. More specifically, it is set in the “Little Italy” part of town, concerning events that happened on Easter Sunday, 1911. It was on that day that Angelina Napolitano, a 28-year-old Italian immigrant and mother of four, killed her abusive husband Pietro Napolitano with an axe as he lay asleep in their bedroom. This period piece film is half English and half Italian, in fact it is in the authentic Neapolitan dialect, using English subtitles. It is the first time the story of Angelina Napolitano has been told on screen. After a three-hour trial, represented by a lawyer, played by Keith Knight, who was given only hours to prepare, Napolitano was sentenced to hang. The story was picked up by an American reporter (Norma Dell’Agnese) and soon the signatures of hundreds of thousands of petitioners from around the world arrived at the office of Canada’s then Justice Minister (Andrew Gillies) demanding her release. The global media frenzy surrounding the events of the trial and the discrimination that it highlighted in Canada’s legal system are the subjects of the film. Following the “script” of the original trial, the courtroom scenes were shot in real time using multiple cameras on the original site. The film was shot in only 14 days with a limited budget and with the assistance of 300 volunteer extras in the City of Sault Ste Marie, Ontario.