PhillyCAM Revisits Frank Rizzo Era with Documentary and Discussion With a Focus on Undoing Harm

Screening of Robert Mugge's Amateur Night at City Hall and Panel Discussion

Presented as part of Philadelphia Stories RETROSPECTIVE


When: Thursday, January 20
Noon ET: Panel Discussion Live (PhillyCAM TV and WPPM Radio)   
8:30 p.m. Film Broadcast (PhillyCAM TV)                                                                                                                                                9:45 p.m. Panel Discussion Rebroadcast (PhillyCAM TV)

Where:  In Philadelphia on Xfinity TV channels 66/966HD, Fios TV channels 29/30 with an audio simulcast on WPPM 106.5 FM. Worldwide on Roku, Apple TV, and streaming online.

What:   Healing Our City: Unpacking and Undoing the Harm of the Rizzo Administration —A Conversation with Movement Leaders


PhillyCAM – the community media center that trains Philadelphians in media production and airs original content on Philadelphia’s public access television and WPPM 106.5 FM – hosts a panel discussion and documentary screening about Frank L. Rizzo, the controversial former Police Commissioner and Mayor of Philadelphia.

This event is part of Philadelphia Stories RETROSPECTIVE: A 20th Anniversary Look Back, celebrating an ambitious television series which aired on WYBE TV 35 for eight seasons from 2001 to 2011 and chronicled Philadelphia through the eyes of independent filmmakers and community storytellers.

The first in a series of televised conversations related to the Retrospective, this program features Director Robert Mugge’s documentary Amateur Night At City Hall (1978, 75 min), an award winning and critically acclaimed documentary film that carefully chronicles the meteoric rise of Frank L. Rizzo from cop on the beat, to law-and-order Police Commissioner, to Mayor of America's fourth largest city. A historical gem, the film illustrates key events in Rizzo's controversial career while capturing the essence of Philadelphia's reputation as a city of neighborhoods.

A panel of movement leaders will use the film as a jumping off point to discuss how to counteract the oppressive legacy of Rizzo’s law and order policing and what groundbreaking work is being done to reform the city’s criminal justice system. Panelists will discuss their work to end cash bail, end mass incarceration, promote police accountability and remove symbols of oppression like the Rizzo mural in South Philly and statue across from City Hall.

Panelists include: Kris Henderson or Nikki Grant (Amistad Law Project), Candace McKinley (Philadelphia Community Bail Fund) and Reuben Jones (Frontline Dads). The conversation will be moderated by Dr. Linn Washington (Temple University).

Philadelphia Stories RETROSPECTIVE: A 20th Anniversary Look Back is made possible with support from the Independence Public Media Foundation. Every Thursday at 8:30 p.m. ET from Oct 28, 2021 to March 31, 2022, PhillyCAM will air a Philadelphia Stories episode. Tune in on Xfinity channels 66/966HD/967, Verizon channels 29/30, Roku, Apple TV, or online.

Learn more about Philadelphia Stories.