Peter Watkins' Punishment Park (1971) is a pseudo-documentary set in a detention camp in a near-future America, where young 'terrorists' are brought in front of a jury and convicted without much of a trial. Choosing three days in Punishment Park over lengthy jail sentences, the detainees gamble their freedom on an attempt to reach an American flag - on foot and without water - through the searing heat of the desert. What follows is a lethal, one-sided game of cat-and-mouse with a squad of heavily armed police and National Guardsmen.
Watkins' film, made in the wake of the escalation of the Vietnam War, the campus riots at Berkeley, and the trial of the Chicago Seven, makes an interesting point about America's fascistic tendencies when facing inner (as well as international) conflict. It remains relevant in the current context of the continuous 'war on terror', laws of being able to detain without trial, and the brutal violence facing Wall Street protesters.