Considered a classic of British realist cinema today, Horace Ové’s first feature film, Pressure, was also the first feature by a Black British director funded by the British Film Institute. This stark realist documentary-like fictional narrative explores the growing disillusionment of a Black British teenager, his parents’ complacency with English society, and his rapid politicization as he faces racism, discrimination, and police brutality on the streets—a fact which kept the film out of circulation by the BFI for three years. (Horace Ové, 1976, digital, 120 minutes)
Preceded by Baldwin’s N-----, a documentary portrait of writer James Baldwin addressing a group of radical West Indian students in 1960s London. Accompanied by comedian and civil rights activist Dick Gregory, Baldwin discusses Black experience and identity in both Britain and America. (Horace Ové, 1968, DCP, 46 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.