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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”.

Production Alexander Johnston. Production company Rifle Baby Productions (Santa Cruz, USA). Written and directed by Alexander Johnston. Editing Alexander Johnston. Sound design Alexander Johnston. Sound Alexander Johnston. Production design Alexander Johnston.


2008: Learning to Bend Steel (10 min.). 2010: Way Down in the Hole (40 min.). 2011: A Petition in Boots (10 min.). 2014: NOW! AGAIN! (5 min.). 2015: A Costly Lesson (10 min.). 2017: Evidence of the Evidence.

Photo: © Alexander Johnston

Funded by:

  • Logo Minister of State for Culture and the Media
  • Logo des Programms NeuStart Kultur