Punishment Park


Dissidents are hunted for sport in this pseudo-doc

Peter Watkins’ stingingly satirical docudrama skewers abuses of power with righteous outrage, startling prescience and radical style. Students, dissidents and lefties are charged with sedition, dumped in the desert and hunted by guardsmen.

The film’s real-world parallels (the Chicago Eight; Guantanamo) join cultural references ranging from Swift to Philip K Dick and (pre-emptively) The Hunger Games.

The slogan-speak dialogue lacks nuance, but non-pro casting and an on-the-fly shooting style lend this politically paranoid frightmare the clout of conviction and immediacy.


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