In 1971, inmates at Attica State Prison seized control of D-yard and took 35 hostages after peaceful efforts for reforms failed. Attica investigates the rebellion and its bloody suppression, revealing institutionalized injustices, sanctioned dishonesty, and abuses of power.
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A TV-movie re-creation of the tragic events which followed the Attica Correctional Facility rebellion of September 9, 1971. Inmates demanding better food and living conditions took 38 guards as hostage. Negotiations begin immediately, only to continually break down thanks to uncompromising stubbornness on both sides. Four days into the crisis, the rebellion ends in a bloodbath, with state troopers firing on the prisoners, killing several of the guards in the process. Based on the eyewitness reporting of the New York Times' Tom Wicker, who was one of the civilian negotiators during the stalemate. Written by
I think Emma Goldman noted that every civil war is class war. In this instance, that really rings true. One of the characters in the film notes that 60% of the inmates in Attica were black and 0% of the guards were black. As for the higher-ups of Attica, well, I'll pick my guess at the quotas there.
The Attica riot was spectacular: the inmates took over and stood their ground for 22 days until riot police massacred a bunch of inmates and, actually, 10 of the hostages.
The film deals with the humane aspects of the take-over in a lot of ways. The legal people mainly think the inmates' demands are valid. The governor is slammed by demands from outsiders, seemingly mainly the people and the police unions. The dilemma is plain to see.
I really liked the fact that there's very little soundtrack here. The film ended abruptly, but that's due to the real chain of events. Recommendable because of the humanity.
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