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White Riot

  • Documentary
  • 2019
  • Rubika Shah
  • 80 mins
  • 15

Summary

Documentary telling the story of a vital national protest movement - Rock Against Racism, formed in 1976 when a group of artists united to take on the National Front.

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Review

Rating: 4 out of 5.

In August 1976, Eric Clapton told an audience in Birmingham he agreed with Enoch Powell that immigrants should be sent home, using the National Front slogan "Keep Britain White". The angry, punk-inspired, creative left rallied virtually overnight and Rock Against Racism became a rank-and-file cultural movement, in step with the Anti-Nazi League. This sober, self-effacing documentary, assembled from scant but valuable gig and protest footage, is frugally animated from the cut-and-paste pages of fanzine Temporary Hoarding. Warm testimony comes from founders including ursine photographer Red Saunders, terrier-like typesetter Roger Huddle and office manager "Irate" Kate Webb ("I found a gang I'd like to join"), proving that punk wasn't just about spitting. The movie climaxes at the ANL/RAR march and carnival in Victoria Park, with 100,000 attending, Tom Robinson headlining ("black, white, together, tonight!"), and Birmingham reggae band Steel Pulse wearing Klan hoods. The movement undoubtedly helped the defeat of the National Front were defeated at the 1979 general election, but, as a caption vouchsafes: "The fight is far from over".

How to watch

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Credits

Cast

rolename
Red SaundersRed Saunders
Dennis BovellDennis Bovell
Mykaell RileyMykaell Riley

Crew

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DirectorRubika Shah

Details

Released on
2020-09-18
Language
English
Formats
Colour
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