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White Riot, a film by Rubika Shah
The Untold Story of How A Motley Crew of Punks Stood Up Against Racism
Friday, October 16, 2020 at 7 pm
Saturday, October 31, 2020 at 11 pm

Britain, late-1970s. Punk is exploding.

The country is deeply divided over immigration. The National Front, a far-right and fascist political party, is gaining strength as politicians like Enoch Powell push a xenophobic agenda. Outraged by a racist speech from Eric Clapton, music photographer Red Saunders writes a letter to the music press, calling for rock to be a force against racism. NME, Melody Maker, and Sounds all publish the letter.

Flooded with responses, Red discovers many share his views. Teaming up with like-minded creatives Roger Huddle, Kate Webb, Syd Shelton and Australian graphic designer Ruth Gregory, the team bands together to create Rock Against Racism (RAR) and a fanzine, Temporary Hoarding. Speaking directly to the youth, Temporary Hoarding reports stories and issues that the mainstream British media ignores, like immigration, the Catholic side of the Northern Ireland conflict, and the police's controversial "suspected persons" (sus) powers. They give a voice to the voiceless.

Despite violent retaliation by the National Front, the RAR spreads virally across the UK and into Europe, becoming a grassroots youth movement. The Clash, Steel Pulse, Tom Robinson and other top bands of the day jump on board. White Riot is a moment in time when music changed the world. When a generation challenged the status quo. It's Woodstock meets the March on Washington, punk-style.

Winner of the BFI London Film Festival's Grierson Award, the film features The Clash, Steel Pulse, Red Saunders, Kate Webb, Alien Kulture and more.

Some forty-plus years after the movement it chronicles, this film is remarkably timely. Says the director, Rubika Shah, "The film feels incredibly relevant today because of the rise of fascism and racism around the world, with Brexit and the spread of right-wing populism. Grassroots movements like Extinction Rebellion show that people power can still make a difference, that the media can be used as a powerful and positive force for change.

Rubika is a writer/director and Screen International Star of Tomorrow, whose films have screened at Sundance, Berlin, Tribeca and Hot Docs. Her mini-doc about David Bowie screened in UK cinemas through Picturehouse and was featured in The Guardian, Rolling Stone, and i-D Vice. Her debut feature, White Riot, was showcased at the Great 8 at Cannes 2018, and she is also working on an expanded version of her David Bowie doc.

$12 for a three-day rental. Watch this space and our Facebook page for the ticket link on the day of the show.

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