20/02 | Cinema: PUNISHMENT PARK

SUNDAY FEBRUARY 20

PUNISHMENT PARK (1971)
Directed by Peter Watkins
88 minutes
In English

Peter Watkins is one of the most important filmmakers still living….he stands right up there with Godard in creating his own vision of cinema and social responsibility. And also like many visionaries Watkins has mostly been criticized for making absurd claims, only to find out a few years later that everything he said was true.

PUNISHMENT PARK is Watkins view of America in the 60s. He considered it a sort of science fiction film of the future, and actually its parallels with Guantanamo Bay are chilling. Watkins films tend to be banned in the country he makes them in, and it was also true of this film which was banned as being un-american.

Made with a cast of unprofessional actors, who contributed in the creation of the piece, this is an example of spontaneous filmmaking at its most intelligent….a pseudo-documentary which has absolutely astounding results.