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THREE ACTIVIST SHORTS (1977 - 1982) - Menelik Shabazz Retrospective

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  • dir.  Menelik Shabazz
  • year. 1977 / 1978 / 1982
  • country. UK
  • total run-time. 90 min (incl. 10 min interval)
  • rating. 15

£6.00 (£4.50 conc.)

Doors 15:30 - Film 16:00


This summer, Deptford Cinema is proud to host a retrospective of a key figure of black British cinema: the internationally acclaimed director Menelik Shabazz. With this retrospective we hope, in our own small way, to introduce his body of work to a wider public and reaffirm him as one of the most significant artists and activists in contemporary British film. 

With this programme of early shorts we highlight his political activist roots, covering vital issues such as national media's portrayal of black youth, the Sus Law and the 1981 New Cross house fire. The last two will be shown from the director's own 16mm prints.

Other films in the series: BURNING AN ILLUSION, TIME & JUDGEMENT, THE STORY OF LOVER'S ROCK


BREAKING POINT (1978, 38 min) 

The use of an old Victorian law of ‘being a suspicious person’ commonly known as ‘sus’ was used against young black people in the mid 70’s in the UK. Interviews include Rudy Narrayan, Stuart Hall and Paul Boeteng. Breaking Point is the first documentary directed by a black director for mainstream British Television. 

10 min INTERMISSION

STEP FORWARD YOUTH (1977, 29 min) on 16mm 

Rare archive footage of British born young people in the mid 70s, discussing issues of school, police, parents and what it is like to be black in a white world. 

BLOOD AH GO RUN (1982, 12 min)

Short 'newsfilm' looking back at the events of 1981, beginning with the death of 13 young black people in the January 18th New Cross house fire. The film goes on to show the anger this aroused among black people, and their march in demonstration - `The Black People's Day of Action'.