Day of the Gun


In August of 1971, California’s San Quentin Prison experienced the bloodiest moment in its history. By day’s end, six men—three guards, three prisoners—lost their lives. Growing up, George Jackson had had problems with the law in places ranging from his childhood home outside of Chicago to the Watts neighborhood in Los Angeles. By 1961, Jackson was pleading guilty to the robbery of a Bakersfield gas station and was given the indeterminate sentence of one year to life. Nine years into this sentence, he wrote his famous book Soledad Brother: The Prison Writings of George Jackson, in which he explains his incarceration as intimately connected to the struggles of the Black Panther Party, anti-war sentiment growing about the Vietnam conflict and other revolutionary impulses around the world. He quickly emerged as a foremost intellectual within the prison system. Ten years into this sentence of one year to life, Jackson raised arms against his captors, creating a conflict in which six men—including George Jackson—are killed.  LD


Ken Swartz


Ken Swartz, Jim Swanson

Release Year


Festival Year



United States

Run Time

93 minutes