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by Karen Pecota

The author, filmmaker and visual artist, Antonino D'Ambrosia features America's most notorious whistleblower in his latest documentary Frank Serpico. Daniel Ellsberg, a whistleblower himself in the Pentagon Papers says, "Frank Serpico is the father of modern-day whistleblowers." Others deem Serpico as a true inspiration to stand for injustice and truth.

Song-writer and musician, Rosanne Cash comments on Antonino D'Ambrosia documentary film and shares these words: "Antonino's documentary captures every nuance of his [Frank Serpico] character and the resonance of every lingering memory he unpacks." Continuing, "Frank Serpico has the cadence and dark edge of a great Springsteen song, or post-modern Beat poetry, set to moving images." Adding, "The man and the film stay with me, as both visual poetry and inspiration for speaking truth to power under extraordinary threats." Concluding Cash states, "It's a most timely and welcome call to personal integrity and a reminder of what a single voice can accomplish in changing an entire corrupt system."

Antonino revisits the life of Frank Serpico in spite of the previous books written and movies based on his heroic experiences. There is more to the story. It's been fifty-years and Serpico has more to reveal. Opportunity affords Antonino to create a powerful portrait for a younger generation to glean from Serpico's life experiences, choices and integrity in order to serve best his fellow man. A responsibility true to Serpico's core values.

Serpico, while a New York Police Department Officer during the 1960s - 1970s became aware of criminal activities within his own police department. Shocked and disillusioned he realized that the corruption was so deep and widespread he felt compelled to bring to light the truth.

In Frank's own words he shared, "A policeman’s first obligation is to be responsible to the needs of the community he serves…The problem is that the atmosphere does not yet exist in which an honest police officer can act without fear of ridicule or reprisal from fellow officers. We create an atmosphere in which the honest officer fears the dishonest officer, and not the other way around.”

In 1971, NYPD officer Frank Serpico was a whistleblower bringing to light the vast corruption within the confines of his own employer, the New York City Police Department. The story was so public, controversial and incredibly bold, it put Serpico at the top of heroism. At the same time, the department wanted him gone. Gone for good. Dead gone.

Antonino is given unprecedented appointment with Serpico where he recalls the truth about key scenes from his life on the force and thereafter. Friends and former colleagues bring insight and other writers such as Luc Sante and John Turturro share fascinating context. Serpico, now in his 80s, is still fighting against the abuse of power, encouraging us to stand-up for justice and "just say, No!", on every front.