PUNISHMENT PARK


PUNISHMENT PARK
   Film (1970). Chartwell/Françoise. Dir Peter WATKINS, starring Carmen Argenziano, Stan Armsted, Jim Bohan, Frederick Franklin, Gladys Golden. Screenplay Watkins. 89 mins. Colour.
   Set in the NEAR FUTURE, PP concerns a group of young political dissidents who are forced to endure a government-controlled "run of the gauntlet" before they can attain amnesty for their political crimes. They must travel many miles across a US desert to reach a flagpole flying the Stars and Stripes, at the same time avoiding the patrols of government troops who have orders to shoot to kill. The presence of a tv team that follows one group of dissidents, increasingly involved with their situation, ingeniously increases our own involvement. Made at a time when youthful protest against the USA's involvement in Vietnam was at its peak, and a propaganda film on the side of the protesters, PP nevertheless shows a genuinely individual cinematic vision in its gloomy portrayal of a USA experiencing political repression.
   JB/PN

Science Fiction and Fantasy Encyclopedia. . 2011.

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