A rare opportunity to see this controversial film which was viewed as an indictment against America and heavily attacked upon its release in 1971, with Hollywood studios refusing to distribute it.
Employing a unique drama-documentary technique, director Peter Watkins depicts protestors and political agitators at the height of the Vietnam War being offered the choice between long prison sentences or three days in Punishment Park detention camp. Using real protestors and activists to play the prisoners in a fictional 'arena', as well as a number of ex-law enforcement officers to play police, the film is made up almost entirely of extensive and inventively guided improvisation. A disturbing watch and with strong resonances to the current US policy on Guantanamo Bay, Punishment Park remains shockingly pertinent.
The film will be introduced by Professor Ian Christie
Part of The Rule-Breakers, a new 10 week series at Bertha DocHouse featuring films that have influenced and developed the art of documentary and which continue to inspire us today. To see the rest of the programme click here.