Buddy Cianci

[note, this site is now at buddyciancithemovie.com]

I just finished up a quickie web site design for a local filmmaker, Cherry Arnold, who is making a documentary of the life of Buddy Cianci. For those who don't know, Vincent "Buddy" Cianci was the mayor of Providence for 22 years (making him the longest serving mayor in U.S. history) and is currently serving time for corruption charges.

Cherry has had the blessing and cooperation of Buddy in the making of her film. He allowed her to document his life before, during, and after the trial, and he made available his vast personal archives spanning almost three decades of his political career. She depicts Buddy as sort of a tragic hero with the passion for turning Providence from a disaster to a small gem but with ethically questionable means for getting there. All of this is set in the larger context of American politics and the influence of various ethnic cultures. The film is scheduled to release in December, 2003.

Soon after moving to Providence, I got a sense that then-mayor Buddy Cianci was a unique force. I lived in Boston for 12 years and never once saw the mayor in person. Around Providence, Buddy was everywhere: relaxing in restaurants, walking in a small school parade that went right down my street, and presiding over the marriage of two of my friends.

And I had Buddy encounter of my own. I had just moved to Providence, when I was introduced to the mayor at a bar in the Biltmore Hotel (he lived in its penthouse apartment). Buddy took me by both hands, looked into my eyes, and said "You are a beautiful woman and it is an honor to have you in my city." Then he kissed me right on the lips (for the record, I offered a cheek, but Buddy slyly did the reach-around). Quite a welcome to my new home.

The site at BuddyCianci.com promotes the film and is a vehicle for gathering funding. I was happy to do my part for what is shaping up to be a fine film for a truly interesting character. If you are the type who likes to promote the arts in the form of charitable donations, this film gets my personal endorsement.