Tuesday, May 1, 2018
Punishment Park (1971) Directed by Peter Watkins
Doors at 7:00 PM, Screening at 7:30 PM
@ The Mini Microcinema - 1329 Main St.
Punishment Park, Peter Watkins’ only film made in the U.S., is a protest against American imperialism. It follows a group of activists who have been unlawfully arrested by Nixon’s government on suspicion of inciting insurrection. After a trial in the desert, they choose between decades of imprisonment or total freedom if they are willing to try their luck in a deadly training exercise against rookie cops in aviator shades. The brutality that is unleashed seems ridiculously implausible until you realize that many of the film’s premises along with its iconic images of unaccountable officers standing astride huddled prisoners, found realization at Guantánamo Bay over 30 years later in conjunction with the politics of today. Peter Watkins’ films present pacifist and radical ideas in a nontraditional style. As a pioneer of the docudrama technique, he invariably employs location sets, natural sound, handheld cameras and almost exclusively non-actors. Nearly all of Watkins' films have used a combination of dramatic and documentary elements to dissect historical occurrences or possible near future events.
Free with $5 suggested donation.