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A Film By Shep Abbott
Gloucester, Massachusetts is America’s oldest fishing port with a renowned history as documented in Abbott’s earlier film “More Precious Than Gold” about Gloucester’s first 200 years. Today, approaching the City’s 400th anniversary, rapid changes are occurring. With the building of a new, modern hotel in the midst of a traditional Sicilian neighborhood of residences, docks, fishing boats and processing plants, Gloucester is transitioning from a fishing to a tourist economy. “Gloucester Speaks” employs the construction and current opening of the new hotel known as “Beauport” as a kind of Motif, a symbol of change as viewed through the eyes and voices of its most ardent and eloquent citizens, including illustrious Mayor Sefatia Romeo Theken, celebrated Police Chief Leonard Campanello, writer Peter Anastas, musician Willie Alexander, poet Gerrit Lansing as well as artists, fishermen, quarry stone cutters, recovering addicts, homeless folks, clergy, real estate developers, marine biologists, and tourism advocates. “Gloucester Speaks” is intended for a wide audience interested in a ground-level exploration of the major social, economic and political changes causing upheaval and dislocation in one of America’s iconic cities. What is its past? What is its present? What is to be its future?