Crandell Theatre presents the riveting 2021 documentary Attica by Emmy® winning director Stanley Nelson and co-director Traci Curry, about the 1971 uprising at the Attica Correctional Facility. The screening is followed by a post-film discussion with Daniel L. Meyers, the attorney who litigated the “Attica Massacre” for over 25 years, his step-son Jared Reinmuth, an author and co-writer of the graphic memoir, Big Black: Stand at Attica, Jose Pineda III, the executive director of After Incarceration, a Hudson Valley-based restorative justice nonprofit project, and Laurie Scott, director of ReEntry Columbia.
Attica was nominated for three Critics’ Choice Documentary Awards including Best Historical or Biographical Documentary, Best Documentary Feature, and Best Director. It was also named Official Selection at the 2021 Toronto International Film Festival.
The film chronicles the infamous 1971 prison rebellion, one of the bloodiest civil rights confrontations in American history, which was initiated by prisoners demanding better living conditions. The uprising lasted for five days and left 39 people dead. The documentary is an unnervingly vivid investigation that sheds new light on the enduring violence and racism of the prison system. Survivors, observers, and expert government officials recount the violent five-day standoff between mostly Black and Latino inmates and law enforcement that gripped America then, and the film highlights the urgent, ongoing need for reform 50 years later. The panel discussion will further elaborate on the film, the historic event, and the current state of prison reform from multiple perspectives.
Please join us for a screening of Attica followed by a panel discussion with Jared Reinmuth and Daniel L. Meyers.
During the summer of 1971, tensions between inmates and guards at the Attica Correctional Facility are at an all-time high. On the morning of September 9, it all comes to a head as Attica becomes the stage for one of the largest U.S. prison riots ever. This unnervingly vivid dive into the 1971 uprising from Emmy® winning director Stanley Nelson sheds new light on the enduring violence and racism of the prison system and highlights the urgent, ongoing need for reform 50 years later.
Daniel L. Meyers is a retired attorney and former president of the New York City Chapter of the National Lawyers Guild. Meyers practiced law for 48 years, specializing in criminal defense, civil and human rights. Known as a “People’s Lawyer,” he championed the rights of the oppressed, supported the abolition of prisons and the death penalty, and instead advocated for a comprehensive restorative justice program. In 1971, just hours before the expiration of a three-year statute of limitations, he served and filed the Attica class action civil rights lawsuit on behalf of more than 1,000 prisoners. With four co-counsel, he litigated the “Attica Massacre” for more than 25 years.
Jared Reinmuth is an author who co-wrote the graphic memoir, Big Black: Stand at Attica (2021 Eisner nominee, Best Reality-based Book) with Frank “Big Black” Smith, a former Attica prisoner. Fifty years ago, Smith, along with other inmates, led the 1971 rebellion against the injustices of the prison system which remains one of the bloodiest civil rights confrontations in American history. Jared is the step-son of Attica Defense Attorney Daniel L. Meyers.
Jose Pineda III is a formerly incarcerated community member living at the intersection of restorative justice and higher education. He works for the Bard Prison Initiative as a student recruitment specialist at the Bard Micro College for Just Community Leadership in Harlem, and is the executive director of After Incarceration, a new nonprofit working to transform the reentry experience with restorative justice.
Laurie Scott is the director of ReEntry Columbia in Hudson, NY. After graduating from Pace University, Scott began her career in criminal justice by coordinating the college programs at area prisons for Dutchess Community College. She then went on to become a corrections counselor at Green Haven, Sullivan, and Fishkill prisons.
“Attica is a jarring, engrossing, and enraging reminder of how those in power will lie, humiliate, kill and cover up to retain it, and the documentary is one of the year’s best.” — Roxana Hadadi , Los Angeles Times
“An essential film that can now stand as a definitive vision of that epochal event.” — Owen Gleiberman, Variety
Traci Curry, Stanley Nelson