Thursday, August 17, 2023

Bridgewater Film Fest -- Boston Strangler

As I discuss in two earlier posts -- Bridgewater State ... What? (2009) and The Other Bridgewater State (2010) -- one of the first things I learned about our town was that it had once housed Albert DeSalvo, better known as the Boston Strangler.

So when I heard that local journalist Tiziana Dearing was going to be discussing a new film about the Boston Strangler, my first thought was to wonder whether the film would feature Bridgewater. 

The 18-minute Radio Boston segment puts the film in context, and I recommend listening to it before watching the film. As Dearing and her guests say, Boston Strangler (on Hulu) is about many things. Most important among these was the expectation that "girl" reporters in the 1960s could not and should not report on crime. A close corollary was that the press should not question the authority of the police, which of course is a big part of what a free press is for.

The film did not disappoint -- it presents a nuanced portrait of the work of the two women who investigated the story and who gave DeSalvo his nickname. Those who -- like us -- are not familiar with the story in detail will be surprised by quite a few aspects of the case.

And yes, it does mention Bridgewater. None of the filming took place in Bridgewater, but part of the story was set here. There is no shortage of old brick government buildings in Boston that could be used for the Bridgewater State Hospital façade as well as the interior scenes with its most notorious inmate.  

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