This week's premiere of Looking for Angelina was such a mind-bending experience that it took us 24 hours before we could even think about writing anything about it.
There was Tami Fremlin, looking her usual radiant self, except that she'd dumped Vic and that whole Lock City Dairies thing and had run off to Ottawa to move in with Rudy Peres, who was playing Prime Minister Wilfrid Laurier.
Joe-Joe Giordano had given up his Hollywood Beauty Supply and Unisex Salon business and was spending his time loitering around crime scenes.
Donna Hillsinger had completely abandoned her housekeeping duties at Algoma's Water Tower Inn, to hang out all day at the Sault Ste. Marie Court House, giving great close-ups from the front row of the main courtroom.
And Carol Gartshore had rolled her famous long hair into a tight bun, promenading up and down the East End like she owned the place.
On Wednesday night, 253 people sat for 96 minutes and 59 seconds in Theatre 12 at Galaxy Cinema, enraptured by the sight of themselves on the silver screen.
Brian Kelly gets too close
Lina Giornofelice and Alvaro D'Antonio were on hand for the big Shadows of the Mind Film Festival premiere, but on this night, they were just extras.
On this night, the only true stars were the countless Saultites who showed up in almost every scene.
There was Brian Kelly from the Sault Star, pretending to know how to use a press camera, even though he was way too close to his subject to get a decent shot.
There was Sarah Calvano and her brother Daniel, playing two of Angelina Napolitano's children.
Cameron's new mom
And there was Cameron Cupello (formerly from the Sault, now from Thunder Bay), as their brother.
"It was a good movie," Cameron declares afterward.
"What was the best part?" he's asked by SooToday.com.
"Seeing me," he answers, without hesitation.
Cameron also enjoyed seeing Lina Giornofelice, his screen mom to whom he developed a strong attachment as a sort-of surrogate mom during the shooting.
Saultites seen running from brothel
Much of the action took place in and around the Sault Ste. Marie Courthouse.
Other scenes show the Sault Ste. Marie Museum and Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church.
The building shown as a local house of ill repute seemed very familiar and if you know where those scenes were shot, SooToday.com would be very appreciative if you'd let us know using the News Response forum on our Editorials page. (Of course, we also absolutely need to know who all those local extras were who came rushing down the brothel's fire escape when the local constabulary arrived at the joint.)
Domestic Violence Report
Prior to the premiere screening, members of the cast and crew gathered with representatives of the Algoma Health Unit and the Algoma Council on Domestic Violence to release the 2005 Report on Domestic Violence in Algoma.
The film depicted Sault Ste. Marie in 1911, a segregated community in which Italians were not allowed to attend English schools and risked getting beat up if they showed up in the wrong parts of town.
Angelina Napolitano didn't have to cross Gore Street to suffer abuse.
Within the walls of her James Street home, she was regularly abused by her husband Pietro.
He had slashed her face, shoulder, chest and arms with a pocket knife.
Pushed her to become a prostitute
He husband threatened to kill Angelina unless she became a prostitute to pay the bills. And on Easter Sunday, 1911, she killed her husband with an axe, later becoming the first woman in Canada to use the battered-woman syndrome defence in a murder case.
"I felt extremely uncomfortable doing some scenes," said Lina Giornofelice, who played Angelina in the film.
"In my mind I knew that we were just playing," she said.
"I could just say stop."
1,130 domestic occurrences
Not so for the 702 women who received individual or group counselling for domestic violence last year from Women in Crisis (Algoma) Inc. or Algoma Family Services in Sault Ste. Marie.
Dr. Allan Northan, medical officer of health at the Algoma Health Unit, said that City Police investigated 1,130 domestic dispute occurrences in 2004.
493 women and children required crisis housing from Women in Crisis in Sault Ste. Marie.
104 men were sentenced to attend the local Partner Assault Program.
Police Chief Bob Davies expressed hope that the film will increase awareness of domestic violence issues.
"You're very talented," he told the cast and crew. "It's obvious you have a hit."
You can find a copy of the 2005 Report on Domestic Violence in Algoma, in this week's edition of Sault This Week.