‘Ratslayer of Hillside’ to make Rahway debut

RAHWAY, NJ — An award-winning documentary about a gardener from Hillside, who made global headlines in 1994 for killing a rat, will be screened in Union County on Sunday, Dec. 6 at 7 p.m. at Hamilton Stage in Rahway at 360 Hamilton Street.

Director and screenwriter Andrew Ruotolo will lead a brief panel discussion. Suggested admission is $5 at the door.

The 18-minute film documents the case against the late Frank Balun, a Hillside resident and WWII veteran, who was cited by Lee Bernstein of the Associated Humane Society for killing a rat in his backyard.
Balun was charged with animal cruelty for “needlessly abusing a rodent,” and was ordered to appear in court, where he faced six months in jail and a $1,250 fine. A preview is available at:

The documentary, which was released last year, has been shown at various film festivals, including the Brooklyn Film Festival and Lighthouse Film Festival in Long Beach Island, most recently winning the Documentary Short award at the St. Lawrence International Film Festival in Canada and upstate New York.