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Doc Stories film series

Attica (Opening Night)

Directed by Stanley Nelson

USA | Documentary | 118

4 Nov
Thu, Nov 4, 2021 at 7:30 pm PT

Guests Expected

Director Stanley Nelson and expert scholar Dr. Clarence B. Jones are expected to attend.


From acclaimed director Stanley Nelson comes a suspenseful and meticulous reconstruction of the titular prison uprising using unearthed archival images. Cataloging the five-day Attica prison takeover of 1971 and narrated primarily by inmates, reporters, and even National Guard officials who were there, this film is a dramatic retelling of the bloodiest prison rebellion in US history. Through the lens of an event five decades old, Nelson flexes his fine-honed skill as a master chronicler of events, institutions, and people central to Black history and life. He presents an unequivocal reminder of the incremental nature of progress and offers hope that our better natures will prevail.

Director Stanley Nelson

Stanley Nelson is today’s leading documentarian of the African American experience. His films combine compelling narratives with rich historical detail to illuminate the underexplored American past. A MacArthur “Genius” Fellow, Nelson has received nearly every award in broadcasting, including five Primetime Emmy Awards, and lifetime achievement awards from the Emmys, the Peabody Awards, and the International Documentary Association. In 2016, Nelson was honored with the National Medal in the Humanities from President Barack Obama. With his wife, Marcia A. Smith, Nelson co-founded Firelight Media, a non-profit organization that supports and develops nonfiction filmmakers of color.

Clarence Jones

Clarence Jones served as speechwriter and counsel to Martin Luther King, Jr. from 1960 to 1968 as an Allied Member of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), and in the Wall Street investment banking firm Carter, Berlind & Weill becoming the “first Negro” on Wall Street. He coordinated the legal defense of Dr. King and the other leaders of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference against the libel suits filed against them and The New York Times by the police commissioner and other city officials of Birmingham, Alabama. The Supreme Court ruling in this case – Sullivan vs. The New York Times – resulted in the landmark decision on the current law of libel. In April 1963, he drafted the settlement agreement between the City of Birmingham and Martin Luther King, Jr. to bring about the end of demonstrations and the desegregation of department stores and public accommodations. In August 1963, he assisted Dr. King in the drafting of his celebrated “I Have A Dream” speech that he delivered at the March On Washington, August 28th 1963.

Film Details

Language English

Year 2021

Premiere California

Runtime 118

Country USA

Director Stanley Nelson

Executive Producer Vinnie Malhotra, Stanley Nelson, Marcia Smith, Jihan Robinson

Producer Stanley Nelson, Traci Curry

Editor Aljernon Tunsil, Jaclyn Lee

Cinematographer Antonio Rossi

Music Tom Phillips