Alcatraz: America’s Toughest Prison unfolds the fascinating history of this legendary federal prison established to house the nation’s most notorious criminals. Situated on an island surrounded by the shark-infested waters of the San Francisco Bay, the facility incarcerated 1,545 men from 1934 to its closing in 1963. This documentary looks at some of the celebrity criminals who were housed at Alcatraz, including gang leader Al Capone. Capone spent more than four years in Alcatraz cells. Another famous resident, Machine Gun Kelly, remained at Alcatraz for 17 years. Inmate Robert Franklin Stroud, known as “The Birdman” of Alcatraz, developed an international reputation while imprisoned. The violent Stroud received his nickname for his devotion to his hobby, the study of birds. The film also features interviews with ex-cons and actual footage of the 1960s takeover of Alcatraz by Native Americans. ~ Sally Barber, All Movie Guide (movies.nytimes.com)
See also: Parts 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7.
A passionate call for a general strike in the US this November 6:
Of all the various depredations of the Bush regime, none has been so thorough as its plundering of hope. Iraq will recover sooner. What was supposed to have been the crux of our foreign policy—a shock-and-awe tutorial on the utter futility of any opposition to the whims of American power—has achieved its greatest and perhaps its only lasting success in the American soul. You will want to cite the exceptions, the lunch-hour protests against the war, the dinner-party ejaculations of dissent, though you might also want to ask what substantive difference they bear to grousing about the weather or even to raging against the dying of the light—that is, to any ritualized complaint against forces universally acknowledged as unalterable. Bush is no longer the name of a president so much as the abbreviation of a proverb, something between Murphy’s Law and tomorrow’s fatal inducement to drink and be merry today. (Harper’s)
This is Werner Herzog’s contribution to the 2002 omnibus film, “Ten Minutes Older: The Trumpet“.