Punishment Park
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While Peter Watkins' films of the 1960s reflected the political turmoil and tumult of that decade, 1971's Punishment Park offered a disturbing look at the backlash against leftist activism which emerged in the wake of such events as the 1968 Democratic Convention in Chicago and the shootings at Kent State University. Set at some unspecified point in the near future, Punishment Park was inspired by a provision of the 1950 McCarran Internal Security Act, which gives the President of the United States the right to suspend the traditional judicial system in favor of tribunals to deal with… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 100%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"Shot during the post-Kent State "law and order" election of 1970, Punishment Park can seem so outrageous as to verge on camp, but few other movies capture so painfully the rhetoric and desperation of the times."
‑ J. Hoberman, Village Voice
"a troubling document from a time when the country seemed about to tip into chaos"
‑ Chris Barsanti, Filmcritic.com
"Watkins' convincing cinema-verite style contradicts what we know is an historical untruth"
‑ Shane Burridge, rec.arts.movies.reviews
"an extraordinary film - provocative, incendiary and deeply depressing. Go out of your way to see it and spread the word, while you still can without being arrested."
‑ Anton Bitel, Eye for Film
"Punishment Park is told in the pseudo-documentary style that defines most of the obscure body of work by British filmmaker Peter Watkins."
‑ Jeremiah Kipp, Slant Magazine
"It is a polemic exercise between the Left and the Right, with no room for the middle point of view."
‑ Dennis Schwartz, Ozus' World Movie Reviews
"A wooly curio."
‑ Phil Hall, Film Threat
"The film is as widely applicable to our own factious state of the union as it was to that of America in the 1970s."
‑ Leo Goldsmith, Not Coming to a Theater Near You
More reviews for Punishment Park on Rotten Tomatoes