Punishment Park | Peter Watkins | United States, 1971

Film - Feature | March 18 | 8:15 p.m. |  Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive

 Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive

An evocative synthesis of Bertolt Brecht and cinema verité, Peter Watkins’s dystopic fiction depicts a United States where government authorities, citing the McCarran Act, detain political activists on the grounds that they “probably will engage in . . . acts of espionage or sabotage.” The film follows the televised trial of one group of detainees and the progress of another who have opted for a grueling endurance course in lieu of lengthy prison sentences. As the Daily Mail remarked upon the film’s release, “A few years ago we might have dismissed the film as the figment of a crazed imagination. Today its documentary overtones are all too horribly real.”

- Kate MacKay

 Free for Cal Student Film Pass holders | $7 BAMPFA members, UC Berkeley students | $8 UC Berkeley faculty, staff, retirees; non-UC Berkeley students, 65+, 18 & under, disabled persons | $12 General admission

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