Peter Watkins

Peter Watkins – Resan AKA The Journey (1987)

A global peace film produced in 1983-86 by the Swedish Peace & Arbitration Society and local support groups in Sweden, Canada, USA, Australia, New Zealand, USSR, Mexico, Japan, Scotland, Polynesia, Mozambique, Denmark, France, Norway, West Germany, with post-production support from the National Film Board in Montreal, Canada. Read More »

Peter Watkins – Fritänkaren aka The Freethinker (1994)

Quote:
“This is Peter Watkins (epic) companion-piece to his highly acclaimed “Edvard Munch” (1974). “The Freethinker” examines the life, art, and times of the noted Swedish dramatist August Strindberg, author of Miss Julie, Inferno, and Dance of Death. Strindberg is depicted as a rebel, and idealistic and controversial iconoclast who openly criticized the hypocrisy of 19th century society.” (p. back cover) The film broadly focuses on 3 aspects of Strindberg’s life- the impact of his childhood on his psychology and future work; the meaning of his relationship with his first wife, and the way in which Strindberg, as an author, created works that confronted the social injustices of their time. Read More »

Peter Watkins – The Media Project (1991)

About:
THE MEDIA PROJECT is an exposé on media coverage of the first Gulf War, directed by Peter Watkins. The film raises debate on the global media coverage of the Gulf War by taking examples from the Australian media coverage of the event and having them discussed by a small group of people from different backgrounds who are having dinner together. Written by Peter Watkins in conjunction with the cast, many of whom are expressing their own feelings and concerns. Read More »

Peter Watkins – Punishment Park (1971)

“A VIVIDLY EXECUTED PIECE OF PROVOCATION”

Quote:
A key film in the unimpeachable cry-in-the-wilderness corpus of Peter Watkins—a major filmography long marginalized and only now being prepped and released on any form of video— Punishment Park (1971) is an act of howling political righteousness, a dystopian critique intended for the peace-movement years but possibly even more relevant today. The premise is so simple it leaves singe marks: Watkins begins with the very real McCarran Act (just as he had based The War Game on Britain’s own nuclear-warfare cost analysis and contingency plans), which grants Ashcroftian summary-judgment powers to the president in times of potential “insurrection.” The Nixon-‘Nam years were those times, and so the film follows two groups of arrested protesters as they’re led to the Western desert, interrogated by a tribunal and then sent running, with national guardsmen and riot police following on the hunt. Read More »

Peter Watkins – Aftenlandet AKA Evening Land (1977)

Evening Land presents fictitious events in the Europe of those days. It opens in a Copenhagen shipyard with a strike due to the construction of four submarines, potential carriers of nuclear weapons for the French Navy, beside the salary freeze that the deal has entailed, and as an anti-nuclear protest. In parallel with this, a group of radical demonstrators kidnaps the Danish minister of the EC during a summit, as a token of support with the strikers. The Danish police brutally repress the demo and crush the “terrorists”. Evening Land was released to both a hostile left and right wing, and the few film critics who valued it pointed out that it strayed from the style that Watkins had developed in his previous films. Danmarks Radio refused to broadcast it, and Watkins decided it was high time to leave Scandinavia and start what would be a new period of voluntary exile. Read More »

Peter Watkins – La commune (Paris, 1871) (2000)

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VillageVoice Review :
So far as mental fireworks go, the Fourth of July weekend is unlikely to offer anything more spectacular than Peter Watkins’s masterpiece La Commune (Paris, 1871).Dynamic historical reconstruction in the form of an experimental documentary, Watkins’s six-hour feature was made in DV for (and largely buried by) French TV; it’s as much immersion as narrative – complicated yet lucid and contagiously exciting. Read More »

Peter Watkins – Gladiatorerna aka Peace Game (1969)

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Plot Summary :
The year’s Peace Games convene in Sweden, with a specially chosen Allied team set against a Soviet bloc squad composed entirely of Chinese Red Guards. Officers from both sides observe from a viewing room that displays the television feed relayed to the rest of the planet; the commanders can issue orders to their troops and make morale-building statements.

The Allied team’s effort immediately breaks down in nationalist and racist squabbling. Its officer tries to get his men to cooperate, but they show a lack of initiative, losing points and getting snarled up in a ruined factory building. In contrast, the Chinese team fights as an obedient unit. In the control booth, cool-headed technicians bemoan the fact that the ICARUS gaming computer doesn’t seem to be working very well. Read More »