February 16, 2020
By Jerry Davich
‘Betrayal’ documentary takes deep dive at criminal influence in Teamsters union, outlines indictment against the U.S. government’
The new documentary film, “Betrayal: When the Government Took Over the Teamsters Union,” essentially concludes that one abusive, intimidating mob has replaced another one, though it was done legally with the blessing of the U.S. justice system.
The 70-minute film, screened last month at the Gene Siskel Film Center in Chicago, is a riveting indictment of the U.S. government, examining how the feds took control of the International Teamsters Union three decades ago, and how the justice system continues to trample upon the free speech rights of 1.4 million union members.
Bogdanich and Hogan
“My film documents an extreme example of government overreach that undermined basic constitutional rights of freedom of speech, freedom of association, and due process for Teamster union members,” said the film’s creator, George Bogdanich, of Valparaiso.
Bogdanich, a 71-year-old Gary native with career union ties in Illinois, has done a masterful job of bridging the Teamsters’ past with its present, as well as presenting a public plea for the union’s uncertain future. The film circles around several familiar names, including Rudy Giuliani, Jimmy Hoffa, and Bill Hogan, in the wake of the Academy Award-nominated film, “The Irishman,” which introduced this contentious topic to a much wider audience.
“My film documents an extreme example of government overreach that undermined basic constitutional rights of freedom of speech, freedom of association, and due process for Teamster union members,” said the film’s creator, George Bogdanich, of Valparaiso.”
“I think the fact that ‘The Irishman’ has received such interest potentially helps us because we offer a fact-based sequel to the events portrayed in that movie,” said Bogdanich, former director of public relations for AFSCME Council 31 in Illinois, which represented state employees.
He’s also a journalist, publicist, and political consultant. His brother, Walt Bogdanich, is a three-time Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter now with the New York Times. Investigative, hard-hitting journalism is obviously in their bloodline.
“Bad as mob control was for Teamster members, government control, which has lasted three decades, has been a different kind of disaster,” George Bogdanich said.