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"Intense, outrageous and still relevant a cult hit waiting to happen." The Boston Phoenix
"Paralyzing. A devastating indictment and a chilling prognosis." The San Francisco Chronicle
1970. The war in Vietnam is escalating. There is massive public protest in the United States and elsewhere. President Nixon declares a state of national emergency and the Federal authorities are given the power to detain persons judged to be "a risk to national security."
In a desert zone in southwest California, a civilian tribunal passes sentence on groups of dissidents and gives them the option of participating in law enforcement training exercises in the Bear Mountain National Punishment Park. In an atmosphere of aggression and intimidation and in soaring temperatures, the prisoners have to fight for their lives as they are hunted down by the forces of law and order.
This is a masterpiece of agit-prop filmmaking and quite simply one of the greatest films EVER MADE!
This seems like a gross miscalculation on Watkins part because excessively paranoid visions do not encourage resistance but make all resistance seem futile.
It's unlikey that any film released in 2005 will rival "Punishment Park" for its combination of political urgency, blazing moral ardor and formal quile.
Bottom line: Humans are simply unfit to be put in positions of authority over other humans. Government is a crime syndicate.Published 1 month ago by E. johnson
Made in 1970 by the exceptional British film maker Peter Watkins, this is a film with a punch that has lost none of its impact after more than forty years. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Tommy Dooley
One of the more prescient films made - along with other films of Watkins. He spelled out the future of 'reality' TVPublished 10 months ago by Woody Dalrymple
What is the point of creating a pseudo-documentary about a non-existant place, tribunal and punishment? Read morePublished on March 6, 2012 by MDJ
30 years after it was made and derided, marginalized, and tossed on the ashheap of sixties political culture, paved over by the rumbling crush of today's corpo-socialist fascism,... Read morePublished on February 8, 2012 by Cap N Diode
sometimes people just need to die in order for the world to be a better place, not because one side is better than the other at articulating its principles and convictions, but... Read morePublished on September 6, 2011 by muddy glass
Great fake documentary done straight with an amateur cast--so I guess it's actually a "true" fake documentary!--about America's march toward martial law. Read morePublished on March 21, 2010 by Frank Gorshin
Kent State, Stanley Milgram's Obedience To Authority, Symbiopsychotaxiplasm, Billy Jack, The Most Dangerous Game, Soul On Ice -- it's all here and unique. Read morePublished on January 24, 2010 by Sleep2much
I saw Peter Watkin's CULLODEN and THE WAR GAME a few months before this and was very impressed. The technique is essentially the same, or at least very similar, in this film... Read morePublished on October 12, 2009 by Muzzlehatch