22 min. English.
The 1971 Attica prison uprising is a signature moment of radical resistance in the American Civil Rights movement. The subsequent retaking of the prison, however, is an open wound and “the bloodiest one-day encounter between Americans since the Civil War,” according to the findings of the investigating New York State Special Commission.
Evidence of the Evidence explores this tortured history through a granular interrogation of its archival materials. Utilizing never before seen video recordings shot by a police trooper during the four-day uprising, the film offers a visceral ground level account of the events at Attica. It also chronicles the concurrent mediation and narrativization of these events. Through a “close reading” of the footage, and merging agit-prop and media criticism, the film reflects on the myriad roles that moving images play in the production of history and memory, its creation and its destruction.
Alexander Johnston is a media maker, activist, scholar, and curator based in Santa Cruz, California. His films and GIF cycles have screened at a wide variety of cinemas and festivals. He is also the managing editor of the online media journal “NOW! A Journal of Urgent Praxis”.