The Killing Yard (2001)

TV Movie   |  R   |    |  Drama


The Killing Yard (2001) Poster

A man is accused of murdering two of his inmates around the same time as the 1971 Attica prison riots.


5.6/10
215

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29 October 2003 | Theo Robertson
6
| Fairly Good TVM
I was only a very young child when the Attica prison riot happened and being British it`s not really part of my conciousness and besides there`s no Brit equivilent of the Attica riot . The only comparable British prison riot would be the Strangeways riot in 1990 when the inmates took control of the Strangeways prison in Manchester and held most of the prison for several weeks . It was widely reported by several tabloid newspapers that the inmates had stormed the " Nonce " wing ( Nonce being prison slang for a sex offender )where they had executed up to a dozen nonces by castrating them or gouging out their eyes . It goes without saying that when the authorities regained control of the prison and found out no nonces had actually been killed and the accounts were " inventions of the press " the whole of Britain sighed in disappointment . I`m digressing but I`m just pointing out we`re not used to jail house massacres in Britain and that my very limited knowledge of Attica is mainly down to a TVM I saw almost 20 years whose title I can`t even remember which insinuated that of the 49 people who died when the authorities stormed the prison 10 were guards all of whom died of gunshot wounds , but in order to protect themselves the authorities changed the facts to make it look like the inmates had murdered the guards

In many ways THE KILLING YARD is a continuation of that TVM . It centres around a lawyer called Ernie Goodman defending an inmate called Bernard Strobble who`s facing murder charges involving two other inmates during the riot . The film may be on the side of Strobble but at no time did I find myself being hit by a polemical sledgehammer as to the guy being an innocent victim of the system and in parts of the teleplay you`ll certainly find yourself disliking Strobble . THE KILLING YARD also makes a slightly cynical point ( And I`m guessing this is done on purpose ) that whenever black criminals are on trial it`s always white middle class liberals who are their main supporters

All in all THE KILLING YARD is a fairly good TVM . I must admit though that I would have probably enjoyed it more if I had a more extensive knowledge of the Attica uprising and the subsequent fall-out

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