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
Not knowing much more about the Attica Prison Riots than hearing about it through "Dog Day Afternoon" and "Saturday Night Fever", but familiar enough that it was a dark period of history, I chose to start my study of the riots by watching this film. Regardless of whether that method of research was the smartest, I watched "Attica" with an open mind and the realization that TV movies tend to overdramatize and take liberties with historical-based subjects. However, I found little of this in "Attica". The movie seems to take a bold, straight-forward look at the events without muddying it with personal relationships, unnecessary side stories or drawn-out dialogue. There is a sympathy, a compassion and an understanding of both sides of the story for both the prisoners and the negotiators. It swiftly moves from one important scene to the next, addressing the pivotal points that occurred throughout those four days, climaxing on the unavoidably prolonged massacre at the film's conclusion. As a whole, I thought this was a well made, well directed, and a well acted movie, and hope that it has been faithful to the facts.
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