Alcatraz is Not an Island
By: James M. Fortier and Jon Plutte
Directed by: James M. Fortier
This Documentary was directed by James M. Fortier, and shows the struggle of Natives Americans in the process of claiming their rights. In 1969, Richard Oakes, the leader of the occupation, and other Indians occupied Alcatraz as a way to control their lives. The occupation was filled with hostile attacks, which led to ending the lives of many Indians, including the leader’s daughter, who clearly is one of the victims of the attacks. From the government perspective, their occupation was a sign of rebellion, and they had to be stopped from going further by destroying every possible chance to win. Most of the people, at least in the beginning of the occupation, were just students who were ambitious to save their future and prevent any possible harm from their people and themselves. The documentary brought some of the people, who were involved, to talk about their experiences and share their feelings with others.
The documentary tells facts about the students themselves and their experiences during the occupation. It is a powerful documentary, which was produced in both color and black and white pictures and made in 2001. It is a reminder of the existence of the Native Indians and their rights as human beings. The scenes and the Natives background music touch aspects about how life was hard for Indians to live after everything was taken by the U.S. government. In some scenes, I saw some Natives running and shouting while fighting for their rights. I think this movie should be shown to as many people as possible because I believe not everyone knows about such an event, which clearly made a turning point in the Indians’ history.
I find this documentary to be unique because it has real TV footage from the time that the occupation was happening, which sometimes could be hard...