More than 45 years ago, America’s prisons burned. Here’s how, why, and what happened.

Who were the Attica Brothers? Why did 1,500 Black, Puerto Rican, and white prisoners seize control of the New York prison?

And who was George Jackson? And the Soledad Brothers? And why was he murdered by the San Quentin prison administration?

What is the legacy of the prison movement? And what do these forgotten histories tell us about prisons, repression, and the struggle for freedom today?

Through mixtures of archival audio and contemporary interviews, music, and narration, we hear the voices of George Jackson; Jonathan Jackson Jr.; Georgia Jackson (mother of George and Jonathan Jackson); Angela Davis; David Hilliard (former Black Panther Party leader); James Baldwin; Harry Belafonte; David Johnson, Hugo Pinell, Luis Talamantez, and Sundiata Tate (all charged with the San Quentin rebellion following the murder of George Jackson); Frank “Big Black” Smith (Attica Brother and prison activist); William Kunstler; Elizabeth Fink and Michael Deutsch (attorneys for the Attica Brothers); L.D. Barkley (Attica Brother, murdered in the retaking of the prison in September of 1971, and who announced the “Attica Manifesto” to the world); and Ruchell Magee (prison activist and leader, still in prison for his political activities).

This documentary introduces and grapples with this history as well as lessons for today, and tomorrow.


This documentary was made possible in part by funding from the Paul Robeson Fund for Independent Media.

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