IMDb > Punishment Park (1971)
Punishment Park
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Punishment Park (1971) More at IMDbPro »


Overview

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Down 23% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Director:
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View company contact information for Punishment Park on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
1980 (West Germany) See more »
Genre:
Plot:
"Punishment Park" is a pseudo-documentary purporting to be a film crews's news coverage of the team of soldiers escorting a group of hippies... See more » | Add synopsis »
User Reviews:
Extremely relevant, audacious and very impressive pseudo-documentary See more (47 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order)
Patrick Boland ... First Tribunal Defendant
Kent Foreman ... Defendant in the tribunal

Carmen Argenziano ... Jay Kaufman, Tribunal Defendant
Luke Johnson ... Defendant in the tribunal
Katherine Quittner ... Nancy Smith

Scott Turner ... James Arthur Kohler, Tribunal Defendant
Stan Armsted ... Charles Robbins
Mary Ellen Kleinhall ... Allison Mitchner
Mark Keats ... William C. Hoeger, Tribunal Chairman
Gladys Golden ... Mary Jurgens, Tribunal Member
Sanford Golden ... Sen. Harris
George Gregory ... Mr. Keagan
Norman Sinclair ... Alfred J. Sully - Tribunal Member
Sigmund Rich ... Prof. Hazlett
Paul Rosenstein ... Paul Reynolds - Tribunal Member
Lee Marks ... Robert J. Donovan, FBI Agent
Sandy Cox ... Stenographer
Fred Franklyn ... James Daly, Defense Attorney (as Frederick Franklyn)
Ross Briegleb ... Tribunal Doctor
Joe Hudgins ... Chief Tribunal Marshall
Radger Greene ... Federal Marshall
Tom Kemp ... Tribunal Marshall
Harry McKasson ... Tribunal Marshall
Harold Beaulieu ... Desert Militant
Cynthia Jenkins ... Desert Militant
Jack London ... Desert Militant
Bob Lewine ... Desert Militant (as Rob Lewine)
Rolando González ... Desert Semi-Militant (as Roland Gonzalez)
Viola Gonzalez ... Desert Semi-Militant
Jack Gozdick ... Desert Semi-Militant
Brian Hart ... Desert Semi-Militant
Linda Mandel ... Desert Semi-Militant
Don Pino ... Desert Semi-Militant
Jason Sunners ... Desert Semi-Militant (as Jason Sommers)
Conchita Thornston ... Desert Semi-Militant (as Conchita Thornton)
Gary Johnson ... Desert Pacifist
Michelle Johnson ... Desert Pacifist (as Michele Johnson)
Ted Martin ... Desert Pacifist
Don McDonald ... Desert Pacifist
Harold Schneider ... Desert Pacifist
Jim Bohan ... Captain, Sheriff's Dept.
Van Daniels ... Member, Sheriff's Dept. (as Van Daniel)
Harlan Green ... Member, Sheriff's Dept.
Dennis Wilson ... Sheriff's dept.
Paul Alelyanes ... Policeman
Kerry Cannon ... Policeman
Bob Franklin ... Policeman
Bruce McGuire ... Policeman
Ron Pennington ... Policeman
Allen Powell ... Policeman
Jim Wettstein ... Policeman
Jim Churchill ... National Guardsman
Danny Conlon ... National Guardsman
Wally McKay ... National Guardsman
Cliff Pinard ... National Guardsman
Don Vann ... National Guardsman
Charlie Wyatt ... National Guardsman
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Mitchell Harding ... Newscaster (voice)
Mike Hodel ... Newscaster (voice) (as Michael Hodel)

John Kerry ... Policeman
Peter Watkins ... Documentarist (uncredited)
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Directed by
Peter Watkins 
 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Peter Watkins 

Produced by
Susan Martin .... producer
 
Original Music by
Paul Motian 
 
Cinematography by
Joan Churchill 
Peter Smokler 
 
Film Editing by
Terry Hodel 
Peter Watkins 
 
Casting by
Linda Elbow 
Laura Golden 
 
Art Direction by
David Hancock 
 
Makeup Department
Miriam Nunberg .... makeup artist
 
Art Department
Barry Wilson .... assistant art director
 
Sound Department
Michael C. Moore .... sound (as Michael Moore)
Wayne Nakatsu .... sound mixer
Doug Stevenson .... sound assistant
Hiroaki 'Zom' Yamamoto .... sound mixer (as Hiroki Yamoto)
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Harlan Chapman .... lighting technician
Kit Kalionzes .... lighting technician
John Arthur Morrill .... lighting technician (as John Morril)
Peter Smokler .... assistant camera
Richard Wells .... assistant camera
 
Editorial Department
Susan Martin .... assistant editor
 
Other crew
Linda Elbow .... continuity
Laura Golden .... production assistant
Harlan Green .... production assistant
Brian Hart .... titles
 

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Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
88 min
Country:
Language:
Color:
Aspect Ratio:
1.33 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Certification:
France:-12 | Germany:16 | UK:X | UK:15 (video rating) | USA:R
Company:

Did You Know?

Trivia:
Whole movie was filmed using Eclair 16 mm camera. Theather cut and the version for released DVD is been blown up to 35 mm film.See more »
Goofs:
Errors made by characters (possibly deliberate errors by the filmmakers): In her tribunal closing statement, Alison Mitchner makes reference to the Preamble to the Constitution of the United States, and uses the phrase "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness". This phrase is in the second sentence of the Declaration of Independence, not the Constitution.See more »
Quotes:
Mary Jurgens, Tribunal Member:[shouting] You are immoral!
Jay Kaufman, Tribunal Defendant:I am not immoral.
[she continually interrups with shouting]
Jay Kaufman, Tribunal Defendant:You want me to tell you what's immoral? War is immoral! Poverty is immoral! Racism is immoral! Police brutality is immoral! Opression is immoral! Genocide is immoral! Imperialism is immoral! This country represents all those things!
See more »

FAQ

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37 out of 44 people found the following review useful.
Extremely relevant, audacious and very impressive pseudo-documentary, 17 October 2005
Author: tez from Amsterdam, Netherlands

My curiosity and patience to finally see this controversial film, which now has been released on DVD for the first time in the UK, has been more than rewarded. Peter Watkins has excelled himself in his audacity and technical skills. This pseudo-documentary is certainly ahead of its time and still frighteningly relevant and up to date.

The film is inspired by the upheaval of the late sixties in the US, when the government has increased its legitimized use of violence and oppression, while the anti-war movement reacts increasingly violent and radical. In order to deal with both this, the overpopulation of prisons and to provide special training to riot police units, the government has introduced the so-called punishment parks. Convicted 'criminals', mostly activists, are given the 'choice' to either be locked up in prison for years and years, or spend three days in one of these parks, where they either gain their freedom their death or an even longer prison sentence. The situation in the parks is beyond their worst expectations, however. It reminded me of a sort of realistic version of Battle Royale (2000).

The film's structure is extremely effective and recalls parallels with Cannibal Holocaust, which is made almost 10 years later. Both movies are constructed and filmed in such a way that the viewer is challenged in thinking and feeling he is actually watching a real documentary and therefore shocked, even though aware of the fact that: this is a film. Both confront us with the inherently violent nature of mankind, but where Cannibal Holocaust is devoid of any deeper meaning (above all, it is an exploitation movie in every sense of the word) and does not raise any critical questions about the state of the world, Punishment Park does just that.

I have been profoundly impressed with Punishment Park and find it hard to believe how such a powerful and important film could have been rejected and marginalized for so long. Maybe that says enough about the truth of its content, about the way power structures in this world function. I do not agree with the critique that Watkins polarizes and stereotypes, because the movie depicts activists and the keepers of the legitimized power structures who are in reality as polarized as they are here. If they weren't, there would not be any conflict and therefore no change in our societies. In reality, confrontations between these two groups often take stereotypical forms, whether you place them between activists and establishment in Latin America, Russia or New York City. If these groups would not be polarized to these extremes, the activists would be part of the silent majorities that tacitly complain but at the same time reside in the injustices of the world.

As Peter Watkins tells us in the introduction on the DVD, the actors in Punishment Park are for the most part amateurs. Most kids were real activists from LA, most policemen had been part of the national forces and even some of the members of the tribunals are part of the social and political establishment of the time. Not introducing both groups previous to the shooting of the scenes taking place in the improvised court room, adds to spontaneous and improvised feel. Parallels are drawn with issues of the time, such as the repression of Black Panther members (one of the black prisoners is said to resemble the convicted charismatic BPleader Bobby Seale) and the trial of the Chicago seven.

I admire Watkins' obvious and sincere engagement with injustice and his concern with human rights and the increasingly repressive measures taken by governments (nowadays in the name of the War in Terror) to silence those that do not agree and refuse to be brainwashed. Punishment Park remains to be an extremely important movie that should be shown in schools and seen by everybody who shares these concerns. Maybe its marginalization can finally be made up for.

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M.I.A's Born Free keir_strickland
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