Set in a detention camp in an America of the near-future, Punishment Park‘s pseudo-documentary style places a British film crew amongst a group of young dissidents who, faced with lengthy jail time, have opted to spend three days in ’Punishment Park’.
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Watkins' faux documentary take on the suppression of activism and free speech in 60's/70's America is a riveting and important documentary that in the era of internet monitoring, internment camps and the flag waving right is still important now. Controversial at time of release one only has to watch to see that the same controversy would envelop a similar picture being made today. One of Watkins' best.
Not to be missed. This stunning faux documentary fashioned with anger and utter disenchantment with the American system. It is frighteningly prescient. . When I show the film to college students, there is usually a foreign student who asks seriously; "Is this what really happened?" The film made me a real Peter Watkins fan. His commitment to the agit-prop style is inspirational.
A remarkable, startling film. So many books and movies have used the metaphoric dystopia formula but none have ever done such a fine job of showing just how little would have to change before this state became a reality. Really frightening.