Raw tape #28 for Vito Marzullo documentary. Vito at home #3. Continuation of interview from a different angle. The colors on the video look very strange until after eight minutes, when the camera person resets the white balance. In this lively tape, the Marzullos denounce the local news media and address the many accusations launched at the alderman.
00:00Copy video clip URL The audio cuts out for a few seconds while the Marzullos talk about their struggles to keep their son in school. The son, later discharged from the Navy for sleepwalking, took over his father’s mortuary business. Their other son became Chicago’s General Superintendent of Streets and Repair.
05:58Copy video clip URL “You’ve got to have very hard skin. It does get under your skin sometimes,” Letizia Marzullo says of life in the public eye, and blames newspaper reporters for sometimes fabricating quotes from her husband. The camera crew resets the badly-skewed white balance.
08:10Copy video clip URL The alderman blames the news media for exaggerating his faults and bringing unfounded accusations against him. “This fellow—you see the way we live—is not interested in material things,” she says, alluding to popular allegations at the time which held that Marzullo siphoned money for personal use from his ward. “He’s not after any money, because what are we going to do with money, at our age especially?”
11:25Copy video clip URL The alderman himself addresses accusations against him. “As long as you’ve got an Italian name, even today in this country, you’ve got two strikes against you,” he says, indirectly referring to people who accused him of holding connections with the Italian mafia. “The politicians… people have that impression that they’re lying anyway, whether you’re telling the truth or not,” his wife says. Now worked into a near-frenzy, the alderman shouts, “Those jerks that want to talk about me, let them come face to face. Let them tell me where I’m wrong and why I’m not in jail.” They continue to criticize the news media.
15:30Copy video clip URL Weinberg asks about how Italian stereotypes affect the Marzullos, but Vito seems to feel like his accomplishments in politics have outweighed discrimination against him. “If you didn’t enjoy it, you could never stand it. But he enjoys it,” says his wife of his political career, before playfully teasing him about his age.
17:59Copy video clip URL Another crew member asks Marzullo if butting heads with opponents in the political arena keeps him young. “To me it doesn’t make no difference,” the 80-year-old Marzullo says. “Age doesn’t mean a thing to me.” “If you were to quit tomorrow, I think you would drop dead in six months,” says his wife, arguing that work keeps him active. “Plus I don’t think I could live either. I can live when you’re out,” she says.
20:46Copy video clip URL Letizia Marzullo, resident cook for the family, talks about Vito’s fondness for spaghetti and her ritual of making time for afternoon tea and toast.