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Alcatraz Is Not an Island (2001)

1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »


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Credited cast:
Benjamin Bratt ... Self - Narrator
Richard Oakes Richard Oakes ... Self


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11 April 2008 | by james_fortierSee all my reviews

Thanks for the thoughtful comments, but I just wanted to clarify that the film won Best Documentary Feature at the 1999 American Indian Film Festival in San Francisco, and I won an Emmy for Documentary Directing in 2001 after it premiered on PBS. As for casting the role of the late Richard Oakes, I would never in a million years consent to casting a non-Native to play Richard Oakes. To do so would be an insult to everything Richard lived and died for. Personally I would like to see Rudy Youngblood play Richard if a movie is ever made about Alcatraz or Richard's life. Cody Lightning would also be a good choice. When we made the documentary there was some pressure to get a big name non-Native to do the final narration, I won't mention the actor's name, but his voice is often heard on many Native American documentaries, and some people think he might be native because of his name, but he is not native, he's actually Jewish, anyway, Millie Ketcheshawno and I agreed that there was no way a non-Native was going to narrate this important Indian story and because Millie knew the family of our first choice, we succeeded in getting Benjamin Bratt the narrate. Benjamin Bratt and his siblings were just kids when their mother Eldie Bratt took them to the island during the occupation. You see Eldie Bratt is Quechua Indian from Peru and was very involved in the Bay Area Indian community at the time. So it was a perfect fit to have Benjamin Bratt narrate the film. IN the film there is an archival film shot just that begins the scene of Yvonne Oake's death. The little boy running through the weeds in slow motion is Benjamin Bratt's brother Peter (a talented filmmaker himself. Ben Bratt told us that when he came to SF to record the narration.

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24 January 2001 (USA) See more »

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