A documentary about corruption in New Jersey that will open Friday in select theaters features the state former U.S. Attorney and governor in a lead role.
“The Soprano State, New Jersey’s Culture of Corruption, The Documentary: Part One” produced by Academy Award nominee Steve Kalafer and based on a New York Times bestselling book of the same title documents the history of wrongdoing by state officials and leaders. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R), who was his state’s U.S. Attorney from 2002 to 2008, is the hero in the movie, portrayed as “a modern day Eliot Ness,” who went after mobsters including Al Capone as a federal agent, Fox News columnist Jon Kraushar said.
Christie has prided himself on his work to combat public corruption as a federal prosecutor, making his crime-fighting efforts a pillar of his campaign for governor. The film prominently features ex-state senator and former Newark mayor Sharpe James, one of the state’s politicians convicted of a federal crime under Christie’s watch as U.S. Attorney.
“I think [the movie] sends a really important message to the public,” Christie told reporters after the movie’s premier Monday, according to the Hunterdon County Democrat. But he added: “We’ll always have a corruption problem in New Jersey.”
Kalafer told the Hunterdon County Democrat that the response to the movie at the premier “was quite overwhelming,” with audience members expressing shock and anger at times.
“It was time to do an in-depth documentary about corruption in the state of New Jersey,” Kalafer told the newspaper.
See a trailer for the film below.