Virtual Screening

“A whistle-stop tour of a ’70s London uprising ... Rubika Shah’s spirited documentary about the Rock Against Racism movement still resonates more than 40 years later.”

Simran Hans, The Observer

United Kingdom, 1976. The far-right National Front is gaining in popularity. Racist attacks are on the rise. Famed guitarist Eric Clapton lets loose with an anti-immigrant tirade while performing in Birmingham. A coke-addled David Bowie seems to endorse fascism. Members of the nascent punk scene are flirting with Nazi imagery. In response, a group of activists and artists launch Rock Against Racism, a new movement to fight extremism and xenophobia. Their efforts gain momentum when several prominent musical acts from various racial backgrounds — including Steel Pulse, Poly Styrene, Tom Robinson Band, and The Clash — join the cause. The National Front responds with violence, at concerts and in the streets. In her first feature-length project, British filmmaker Rubika Shah employs a lively cut-and-paste visual aesthetic drawn from DIY punk fanzines of the era to tell an urgent, inspiring, and still remarkably timely story of committed people organizing to do the right thing, give voice to the voiceless, and change the world. As recent events attest, our world hasn’t stopped needing changing. Best Documentary, 2019 BFI London Film Festival.

“A suddenly very relevant documentary ... The timing of White Riot couldn’t be more apt.” Demetrios Matheou, Screen Daily

“An engaging historical story with timely contemporary echoes ... Rubika Shah's prizewinning documentary commemorates the movement that put anti-racist politics at the heart of punk rock.” Stephen Dalton, Hollywood Reporter

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Feature Photo by Syd Shelton
Photo 1 by Ray Stevenson
Photo 2 by Syd Shelton

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