There’s A New Documentary About the Italian Americans of the North End

It’s the first-ever feature-length film on the subject.

north end documentary

A vintage photograph from the North End featured in the film. / Photo provided by Alex Goldfeld

The North End has a lot more to show for itself than amazing cannolis, which is why the North End Historical Society decided to produce a documentary about the neighborhood’s longtime residents: Italian Americans.

After five years of working on Boston’s North End: An Italian American Story, the new documentary is scheduled to premiere Wednesday, January 20, at 7 p.m. at Suffolk University’s Modern Theatre. It will also be available for pre-order at that time, as future screenings for the public are still in the works.

The film picks up at the turn of the century, showing what life was like for the first Italians who settled in the North End.

One of film’s producers, Alex Goldfeld, highlights the importance of chronicling the Italian American experience in Boston throughout the 20th century.

“It’s gone from a neighborhood seen by many as a ghetto and not a safe place to one of the most desirable neighborhoods in the whole city,” he says.

Goldfeld founded the North End Historical Society in 2009 after a simple realization: that the North End was “one of the most historic places in the city with no historical society.”

Only Italian Americans are featured in the film, ranging from ages seven to 94. Highlights include former World Welterweight Boxing Champion Tony DeMarco as well as Stephen Puleo, author of “The Boston Italians,” and “Dark Tide: The Great Boston Molasses Flood of 1919.”

“There’s some famous things and things you might not have heard of,” says Goldfeld. “We tried to give a portion of a place that we love.”

north end documentary

Tony DeMarco greets fans on Fleet Street, where he grew up. / Photo provided by Alex Goldfeld