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The Men of Atalissa

 35 min / documentary / 2013 / USA

filmmaker: Kassie Bracken

The Men of Atalissa is a documentary about 32 intellectually challenged people who were employed by Texas-based Henry’s Turkey Service without proper compensation, and were abused physically and mentally, living in harsh conditions, at Atalissa, Iowa for more than 30 years beginning in the 1970s.

The men, paid a wage of $65 a month and sheltered in an old uphill schoolhouse, were used for meat processing. Their conditions were made public in 2009 leading to a $240 million jury verdict, subsequently reduced to $50,000 per person. The documentary is based on court records and internal documents of the company and features first-time interviews with seven of the victims.

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