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Still from Daniel Bailey's Black Exodus (2021) courtesy thepalaceofthedogs

Blacks Brittanica preceded by Black Exodus

Burning Illusions: British Film and Thatcherism

  • Saturday, May 20, 2023
  • 2:00 p.m. – 4:45 p.m.
  • East Building Auditorium
  • Films
  • In-person
  • Registration Required

Commissioned by WGBH Boston, Blacks Brittanica is a cinema verite-style documentary that gives a relentless and unflinching view of racism towards British immigrants and the destruction of urban communities. The film was banned because of its uncompromising content and re-edited before being broadcast to an American audience. The filmmakers accused WGBH of censorship. They organized a press screening in London and a private screening of the original cut, and later planned a public exhibition in a London cinema, resulting in an injunction by PBS. With special thanks to Margaret Henry. (David Koff, 1978, digital, 57 minutes)

Black Exodus visualizes what Black existence could look like outside the “structures of racism.” Through complex dance styles that grapple with queerness, mortality, and cosmology, a multiplicity of narrators imagine a world in which Black individuals and communities set their own standards of beauty, social aspirations, and the trajectories of their collective futures. (Daniel Bailey, 2021, 16 minutes)

Part of the film series Burning Illusions: British Film and Thatcherism, engaging questions of cinematic representations of race, class, and sexuality through examples of moving images rooted in Britain's contested social and political histories. 

Ballet Black, originally included in the program, was substituted with Blacks Brittanica due to unforeseen technical difficulties.