CT FILM FEST REVIEW: “Alcatraz Reunion”


An old guard from Alcatraz said he once saw the prison barber stab a customer to death, whispering “I love you” and the victim bled to death.

And that was 30 minutes into his first day on the job, the old guard says.

That’s one of a million story-telling gems in “Alcatraz Reunion,” a great documentary playing at this week’s CT Film Fest.

I was a fan of convict-turned author Eddie Bunker, whose memoir, “Education of a Felon,” says that hardcore criminals always mellow out if they’re lucky enough to grow old. Then comes the wisdom they’ve wasted most of their life.

This documentary is full of old-timers, once horrible men who now come off as your sort of kooky grandfather.

The movie is about the 70th anniversary of Alcatraz, now mostly thought of as a tourist destination. A federal parks ranger works to reunite guards and cons for a bizarre reunion.

Many of the old cons don’t have glowing memories of the place, but, for whatever reason, feel the strange need to go back.

This is certainly  a documentary you should seek out this week.

WHERE AND WHEN: Heirloom Arts Theater, Friday, 11 a.m.

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