- Peter Watkins |
- 1971 |
- 89 minutes |
- COLOR |
Peter Watkins, who also directed the amazing Privilege, made this controversial and ahead of its time political film at the height of the powder keg tensions of the late 60's/early 70's. Released in 1971, the film details a world of rabid political control and boiling tensions between liberal minded individuals and the right wing all encompassing government. People who are arrested for having political ideals that differ from that of the ruling power are given a choice to either spend 20 some odd years in jail or go to Punishment Park. Punishment Park is kind of like a grand version of The Most Dangerous Game, where the prisoners are set free in a vast desert landscape and given instructions to "find the flag". If they find the American flag at the end of the huge course, they are given their freedom. The catch is that they are pursued by armed military soldiers who have instructions to shoot to kill. And oddly enough, no one ever seems to find the flag.
The film is shot in a pseudo-documentary style and it seems as if there are moments of reality bleeding through the narrative. This especially rings true when one considers the amount of improvisation Watkins had his cast perform for this film. This is truly one of the most amazing films we offer on the site and we can't recommend this movie enough. It is simply a must see in every sense of the word.
2 short films of Peter Watkins
Two early short films by Peter Watkins - The Forgotten Faces and The Diary of an Unknown Soldier - plus filmography, documents, and articles about the film.