The King of Steeltown is an offbeat, sometimes humorous inside look at Chicago-style machine politics in a rust-belt city (East Chicago, Indiana) struggling with the decline of the steel industry. The film focuses on the 1999 re-election campaign of Robert A. Pastrick, mayor for three decades and a dominant political force since he launched

his career in the early 1950s. Described as the last of America’s political bosses, Pastrick is portrayed as an old-style pol who skillfully retains control of this gritty multi-racial industrial community with a well-oiled political machine, an election year multi-million dollar public works program, and a clinical display of old fashion retail politics.

The King of Steeltown was shot cinema verité style on 16 mm over a ten-day period leading up to the primary election in this heavily Democratic city. The film was directed and produced by award-winning Washington, D.C. political consultant and attorney Chris Sautter — his first film. Soundtrack music is provided by blues legends Paul Butterfield, Slim Harpo, Sleepy John Estes, and Yank Rachell, and late Chicago folk singer Steve Goodman.

75 minutes, English, documentary.
Produced and Directed by Chris Sautter . Director of Photography Seth Henrikson. Editor Jane Wholey . Sound by Steve Winiecki . Music By Paul Butterfield . Steve Goodman . Slim Harpo . Sleepy John Estes . Yank Rachell