Segments in this Video

Attica Introduction (01:03)


This segment orients viewers to the uprising at the state prison in 1971.

Dehumanizing Inmates (02:28)

Inmates discuss the guards' attitudes, their mental impact, and inmate attitudes. Lt. Richard Maroney gives a press conference about Attica's atmosphere.

September 9, 1971 (03:15)

Attica inmates discuss what it was like in D Yard after they took control. See them addressing the media with concerns about their treatment.

15 Practical Demands (02:41)

A New York assemblyman recalls visiting Attica. Inmates address the media with their demands. Attica observers speak to the media about inmate grievances.

Response to Inmate Control (02:46)

A large assortment of heavily armed police personnel surrounds Attica. An inmate claims they are advocating communication and understanding.

Oswald's Mixed Messages (02:06)

Commissioner Russell Oswald explains his decision to negotiate with Attica inmates. Ex-inmates discuss their perceptions of Oswald and their lack of trust.

McKay Commission: Wicker (03:06)

See Tom Wicker's commission testimony and his statements to the media. The inmates demanded amnesty and held 35 people hostage; see hostage media footage.

McKay Commission: Rockefeller (02:47)

Wicker discusses the emphasis on attack prevention and his conversation with Gov. Rockefeller; Observer Committee members felt Rockefeller's presence at Attica was necessary.

Possible Settlement (03:48)

Rockefeller explains his decision not to go to Attica. Observer Committee members discuss their desire for further negotiations. See hostage video inside Attica and commission testimony.

Reclaiming Attica (02:28)

See the Attica Assault Force. Inmates share their thoughts on humanity. Commissioner Oswald cautions against delay; Rockefeller supported the assault force.

Assault Force Enters Attica (02:16)

See footage filmed through a State Trooper's riflescope and footage filmed by troopers. Inmates recall the police's violent attack. (Graphic images and language)

McKay Commission: Controversy (02:48)

Maj. Monahan explains his objective; nine hostages died. An inmate denounces Walter Dunbar's testimony. Experts attack the validity of Oswald's claims and the media's fact reporting.

Attica News Validity (02:17)

Experts discuss the media's false claims; hostages died from gunshot wounds. See a portion of a funeral service and Edward Cunningham's son's media statement.

Indiscriminate Firing? (04:01)

Maj. Monahan discusses communicating with Gov. Rockefeller. Attica inmates reflect on the gunfire. Experts discuss trooper weapons and ammunition at the McKay Commission.

Inmate Beatings (02:21)

Inmates, an Attica Observer, and National Guardsmen discuss the correctional officers' violent behavior. Warden Mancusi denies receiving brutality reports.

Appropriate Inmate Treatment? (05:14)

Commissioner of Corrections, Walter Dunbar defends officer actions. Inmates recall being stripped, humiliated, and the deaths that occurred after the attack force regained control. (Nude images)

Murder in Attica Prison? (03:18)

An Attica Observer and an inmate discuss LD Barkley's death. Mancusi praises correctional officer discipline and self-control, and defends his statements to the McKay Commission.

Attica Indictments (02:57)

In September 1972, Asst. Attorney General Fischer announced 61 indictments- all against inmates. Inmates and lawyers reflect on the indictments.

Reform Success at Attica (02:45)

See footage from the Pepper Committee Hearings and Mancusi's testimony on recidivism. Inmates reflect on prison rehabilitation and cheap labor.

Dept. of Corrections Integrity (03:03)

Hear testimony on the motivation for a correctional position at Attica; officer response to prisoner treatment; and relationships between inmates and guards.

Authoritative Control (04:25)

Attica inmates, family members, and experts discuss prison living conditions including censored mail, food, and healthcare.

Demanding Humane Treatment (02:50)

An Attica Observer states that prison conditions caused the 1971 riot. Inmates reflect on reform requests; hear Oswald's and Mancusi's McKay Commission testimonies.

Racial Cohesion (02:17)

Inmates discuss the unity resulting from George Jackson's memorial; the unity made Mancusi apprehensive.

Oswald's Claims (02:01)

Oswald explains why he went to Attica in early September. Hear a portion of the tape that inmates heard on August 31, 1971; inmates reflect on his statements.

After the Riot (03:41)

See images from inside Attica in September 1971. A family member and inmates blame authorities for the revolt. Inmates and experts discuss prison reform.

After Attica (01:47)

Frank Smith and his family discuss his personal changes after the Attica revolt.

Acknowledging Inhumane Behavior (04:08)

Inmates discuss the need for public awareness and reflect on Attica's aftermath. See footage from the Harlem Funeral March commemorating those killed at Attica.

Credits: ATTICA (01:13)

Credits: ATTICA

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Social unrest in the United States hit a boiling point on September 9, 1971, when inmates at Attica State Prison—after months of protesting inhumane living conditions—revolted, seizing part of the prison and taking 35 hostages. The uprising resulted in the death of 43 people after troopers were called in to suppress the rioters. Three years later, Cinda Firestone released this monumental investigation of the rebellion and its aftermath, piecing together documentary footage of the occupation and ensuing assault with video from the McKay Commission hearings that criticized Governor Nelson A. Rockefeller’s handling of the incident and firsthand interviews with prisoners discharged after the event. Unavailable for 33 years, Attica still is a sobering and revealing look into the heart of American justice, weighing the costs of institutional dishonesty and abuses of power against the price some will pay to retain human dignity.

Length: 80 minutes

Item#: EDP60198

Copyright date: ©1974

Closed Captioned

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