Documentary filmmaker Stanley Nelson has a strong working history with his co-director and producer Traci A. Curry, collaborating with her on films such as “Boss: The Black Experience in Business” and the two-part Michael Vick doc ESPN’s “30 for 30” series. After they wrapped production on the Vick doc, Nelson decided that she would be a perfect partner for his next film, asking her, “What do you think about Attica?”

Curry and Nelson joined film awards editor Clayton Davis in a Variety streaming room conversation about their Oscar-nominated documentary “Attica” from Showtime, which honors the 50th anniversary of the 1971 Attica Prison Uprising, where prisoners revolted to seek better living conditions. The riot ended with the largest amount of fatalities in U.S history, with 33 inmates and 10 guards dying. Curry and Nelson reconstruct the events of Attica through archival footage, as well as interviews with the predominantly Black and Latino inmates who were present for the events. After working for years as a producer, the film is Curry’s feature directorial debut.

“The answer was I had not thought about Attica, I did not know very much about it before making this film,” Curry said in the Variety streaming room conversation. “I understood there was something about this moment that was resonant in the culture for some reason, but it wasn’t really until I started digging into it and learned the story of what happened and this massacre that happened at the hands of the American state that I was like, ‘I have to be a part of telling this story any way that I can.'”

The two discussed interviewing various people for the film, including asking former guards who had agreed to participate at one point before declining to be involved. In addition, the Emmy-nominated filmmakers talked about the modern state and evolution of documentary filmmaking.

Nelson believes despite “Attica” showing how the fight for criminal justice reform and institutional racism has improved over the past 50 years. It’s also displayed progress that has slowed. “I’ve made a few films about the civil rights movement,” says Nelson. “A lot of times you run into people, especially black folks, who say ‘Oh no, things are worse now than they were in 1961, things are just as bad,’ And I always say, No, they’re not as bad.’ But they’re still not as good as where we should be. And the question coming today is we really have to be cautious because history is a rollercoaster ride. It’s not on the ascendancy, it just gets better and better. You look at where we are now compared to 10 years ago when Obama was headed into his second term; things are worse. But I have hope and I think that young people are pushing and fighting for change.”

“Attica” is currently streaming on Showtime. Watch the full conversation above.