Meet & Greet at BFI Cafe / Bar
Black History Walks African Odysseys - Blacks Britannica + discussion with Colin Prescod, Chair of the Institute of Race Relations, Kunle Olulode, Director of Voice4Change and other guests TBA
This groundbreaking film from 1978 loses none of its urgency and insight today.
BLACKS BRITANNICA (1978) is a relentless and engrossing indictment of racism toward black immigrants to England, told from an obvious Marxist perspective. The film argues that discrimination in England is based on economics and fueled by opportunists across the entire spectrum of British politics. Told through the eyes and words of a cross-section of blacks, David Koff's film uses interviews, stock footage, and scenes of street life and violence to show how blacks in England are trapped at the bottom of an economic and political system which shows little compassion or concern about their fate. Rapid editing, overlapping dialogue and cinema verité all build to an emotional and violent climax, whose conclusion is underscored by a reggae band's call for revolution. As Koff puts it, the film "reflects the increasingly militant response within the black community to the continuing attacks upon it, both by the fascist elements on the street and by the state itself." An official of the British Information Service in Washington called the film "dangerous" and asked for equal time. New York Times critic John O'Connor said the film not only documents the growing militancy, "but, quite clearly, the structure and tone endorse it."