Purple “Organized Crime In A Small Town”
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Throughout the 1920′and 30′s the Purple Gang operated as an organized crime syndicate throughout Michigan. Many who were there, and witnessed the brutality of the organized crime profession, have recounted the gang’s use of violence and intimidation. While a number of those stories highlight the graphic nature of the Purple Gang, ‘Purple’ focuses on a unique environment, and seeks to find how the cultural impact of what is often seen as ‘big city’ crime affects a rural community.
Shot on location in Clare Michigan, Purple looks at the romanticism of organized crime, and asks how something so brutal can be viewed so fondly by so many. The film reflects on the values and social norms of the community during that era, and investigates how those cultures were challenged when juxtaposed with the nature of organized crime.
Written, produced and directed by Benjamin Tigner, Assistant Professor at Central Michigan University, the film concept immediately garnered financial support from the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs at CMU. Using this support Benjamin was able to hire CMU students to help film the majority of the program. The film was released in August 2012, taking over three years to record, edit, and complete.
Proceeds will go to fund future works through the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs