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London Film Festival

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White Riot

Rubika Shah’s “White Riot ” captures the rise of the extreme right during the 1970’s,  and the counter grass roots movement  started by Red Saunders when he set up Rock against Racism (RAR) and Temporary Hoarding  their in-house fanzine. Temporary Hoarding reported stories and issues that mainstream British media ignored, like immigration, the Catholic side of the Northern Ireland conflict, and the police’s controversial “suspected persons” (sus) powers. Outraged by a racist speech made by Eric Clapton, music photographer Red Saunders writes a letter to the music press, calling for rock to come together and be a force against racism.  NME, Melody Maker, and Sounds all publish the letter, mobilising the  people of the East End and up and down the country against the rising National Front. Ironically, it was in Hackney and Bethnal Green that the National Front won most of its support, two of London’s most diverse and poorest boroughs at the time. The National Front began…

Clemency

Writer-director Chinonye Chukwu’s delivers a gut-wrenching, devastating drama on the death penalty that deservedly won the Grand Jury prize at Sundance, making Chuwaka the first black woman to win the award. Warden Bernadine played by Alfre Woodard, is preparing for her 12th execution, she is methodical, calm and capable of keeping her emotions firmly in control even when the opening execution does not go to plan and we witness the prisoner suffer unnecessarily for a longer than he should have, she still remains in charge and gets the job done and we believe that she hasn’t been as effected as some male members of her execution team. This is as far removed from the truth as can be imagined, the death around her is destroying  her peace of mind, her marriage as she spends more time at the local bar with her work colleagues than at home with her husband…