I am truly ashamed to admit that I’ve watched at least three documentaries, in as many months, that highlight how inconsistent and neglectful my formal history education has been. Between “My Name is Pauli Murray,” “Hold Your Fire,” and last week’s Showtime release of “Attica,” I am continually reminded of how much we “don’t” learn collectively about activism, racism, and flat-out injustices that led to overwhelming change – and the agents who created it – in this country.
The Nelson and Curry directed “Attica” presents an in-depth look at the 1971 Attica prison uprising – which was prompted by human rights infringement and prison guard brutality – the harrowing massacre, and its resulting aftermath.
With firsthand accounts from former prisoners and interviews of journalists who covered and family members of deceased hostages, the documentary gives an insightful and well-rounded account of the tragedy, intertwining prison surveillance footage and archived media/news coverage to create an upfront and personal expose.
It also does a thorough job providing background and the dynamics of the town of Attica, demonstrating how they affected the treatment of its prison population, as well as how complicit attitudes contributed to the killing of 29 prisoners and 10 hostages at the hands of law enforcement.
I sat down with the AAFCA Family to chat with both Stanley Nelson and Traci Curry about the film, their creative experiences and the reactions they’ve received so far from viewers. You can watch the video below in its entirety, and watch “Attica” now streaming on Showtime (check local listings or on-demand).
Until next thought, Thomasena