alcatraz reunion

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“A Great Documentary...there are a million story-telling gems in Alcatraz Reunion.”
-Connecticut Film Festival Reviews

“An unconventional reunion of epic proportions, award-winning filmmaker John Paget sets out on a cross-country road trip to track down ex-inmates and correctional officers, all while exploring the ins and outs of Alcatraz and its transformation from infamous state penitentiary to lauded tourist attraction.”
-San Francisco Bay Guardian, June 10th “Weekly Picks”

“While the reunion is a weird event to say the least, there is nevertheless the sense that for some (who describe Alcatraz as a unique hellhole) to return as free men is liberating. Combining archival footage and stills with illuminating interviews with ex-cons who have not forgotten their terrible years in confinement, Alcatraz Reunion is another interesting offbeat documentary from the director of Almost Elvis.”
-Video Librarian, January 2009

“I love Alcatraz history and have watched about every documentary that has ever been produced. This one by far is the best to date. The photography was exceptional and the editing was perfect. It told the story of the inmates and guards and their families getting together to discuss their feelings. It flowed well and really provided a true picture of the history in a way Hollywood could never do.”
-Donald Bowden, former resident of Alcatraz

“Filmmaker John Paget documents the gathering of former Alcatraz inmates and their guards on the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the prison’s opening. In powerful interviews with the men, we learn what life and work was like on the Rock and how it affected each of them. Paget juxtaposes period footage of the California penitentiary as a stern fortress with present-day interviews and scenes showing Alcatraz now, a popular National Park historic site and tourist attraction. The contrasts in time and mood work well, adding texture to the transformations in the men and the institution. In addition to the reunion story, the DVD includes newsreels of Jack Lalanne’s handcuffed swim from Alcatraz to Fisherman’s Wharf, the famed 1962 prison break, and closing day. Well conceived, produced, and shot, Alcatraz Reunion is the recipient of numerous awards and film festival honors.”
-Library Journal, May 2009

“Alcatraz Reunion is a fascinating documentary on the life and times of one of the world’s most notorious prisons and the personal stories of those who lived through it. Must see movie for anyone interested in American History and the psychology of human nature. One of the best films we’ve had the honor to show at our festival”
-WILDsound Film Festival Committee, Toronto

“A fascinating look at the ultimate icon of the American penal system. The film takes us on a journey to the now defunct Alcatraz, where the last living residents (prisoners) and employees (guards) are reuniting for one last time years after the prison has been closed. Much more than a reunion, the film is a glimpse into America’s past—and an insight into the minds of those who built, managed, and inhabited The Rock.”
-Hugh Reilly, Host,, Toronto

“I regularly show Alcatraz Reunion in my criminal justice and psychology courses. Students watch the film transfixed and the movie always promotes great discussions of humanity and inhumanity, rehabilitation, and psychological contrasts. This is a film one watches more than once. The DVD includes additional interviews with former inmates that is a valuable feature. You can take the Alcatraz tour and you can read many books on the prison. But you will not really appreciate the Rock until you have seen Alcatraz Reunion.”
-Maurice Regan, Ph.D. Asst. Professor, North Shore College, Massachusetts

“There is an aura and a mystique about Alcatraz which continues to fascinate and draw people despite the fact that it was closed in 1963 and has been in the Federal Park system much longer than it was a prison. John Paget’s documentary, Alcatraz Reunion, captures the impressions and sentiments of those of us who actually worked or were imprisoned there. The film is particularly interesting and well worth viewing because there are not many of us left from that era.”
-Fr. Bernie Bush, SJ “The Alcatraz Priest”

“What is unique about this film is the prison symbolically mirrors both sides of society. The film reveals how former prisoners transformed their lives decades after they left the prison. It also shows how society reconciles and heals itself.”
-Hong Zhou, Big Muddy Film Festival Coordinator

“Educating, interesting and touching...Most of all touching. The interviews with the former inmates were impressive.”
-Anne Sevinga, author “Good Men on the Rock”


Buy It Nowwatch the trailer