No Pretty Prayer

Sal Zerilli grew up “down the fort” during the 70’s and 80’s. He moved away, but held on tight to the love for his unique neighborhood of close-knit families and Italian traditions. Two years ago, fearful that the slow but imminent process of gentrification of his beloved fort would destroy its charm, Sal decided to preserve a bit of the precious history.

His documentary, “No Pretty Prayer” is a touching documentary of people and place. Each show at the Cape Ann Community Cinema has sold out. I saw it last night with Joanne (GMG’s own)who grew up as a non-Italian down the fort. Please-if you get a chance, catch this film. It’s a bit of Gloucester history that everyone should see. Bravo,Sal!!

See more here.


  • Thanks, Sharon….I can’t wait to see this film and this was just the reminder I needed, will check the weekend schedule right now. The timing couldn’t be more perfect as I just rented an apt in the Fort!! I am so excited to be moving out of Beverly and into Gloucester which has held my heart for many years, especially such a wonderful neighborhood as the Fort.

    Peace out,


  • I loved this film! Saw it twice already ❤ and I can't wait to own a copy. Brought back soooo many wonderful memories relating to my heritage.
    Anyone who loves that area of town, especially during St. Peter's Fiesta MUST SEE this film! Viva!


  • “No Pretty Prayer” achieves several goals: it tells the story of the Sicilian fishing community in Gloucester for more than a century. The documentary contains hundreds of photos illustrating those years.
    It celebrates that community and the values of families bonded by work, faith, and shared struggle.
    It points to the value of shared fun in the continuing traditions of the Greasy Pole and Seine Boat race competitions.
    It also celebrates the beauty of the Massachusetts coastline and the importance of the old buildings of the fort, suggesting they should not be demolished.
    “No Pretty Prayer” documents a unique and distinctive community. The accompanying music is poignant and haunting. It should not be missed.


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