Punishment Park

  • Peter Watkins
  • USA
  • 1970
  • 90'

The year is 1970, Vietnam War era. Due to the mass anti-war protests, President Nixon introduces an act which authorises federal authorities to arrest all persons who pose a “threat to national security”. In the desert of southwest California, while the a priori guilty members of Group 638 are desperately trying to defend their resistance to the Vietnam War in court, members of Group 637 have been promised liberty if they manage to escape the police pursuit and reach the American flag on the other side of the mountain, 53 miles away. Drained by the heat, the group divides into quitters, fugitives, and those who will try to reach the flag. The famous US film critic Jonathan Rosenbaum described the film as a sci-fi nightmare in documentary form.

Subtitles: HR

Peter Watkins

English filmmaker and media critic  born in 1935. His experimental, provocative pseudo-documentary films cast a critical eye over past, present and near-future political issues. His film The War Game (1965) won an Academy Award for Documentary Feature.

Punishment Park

Peter Watkins
Peter Watkins
Carmen Argenziano, Katherine Quittner, Jim Bohan, Stan Armsted
Joan Churchill, Peter Smokler
Peter Watkins, Terry Hodel
Susan Martin
Françoise Films
Festivals & Awards
Cannes Film Festival 1971; New York Film Festival 1971