White Riot (15)

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White Riot

Documentary, music | 80 mins | English

Directed by Rubika Shah

Featuring Red Saunders, Dennis Bovell, Mykaell Riley

With Audio Description (AD) and Subtitles for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (SDH) versions available.

Winner: Best Documentary - BFI London Film Festival 2019

Special Mention: Crystal Bear - Berlin International Film Festival 2020

About the Film

Rubika Shah’s energising film charts a vital London protest movement. Rock Against Racism (RAR) was formed in 1976, prompted by ‘music’s biggest colonialist’ Eric Clapton and his support of racist MP Enoch Powell. White Riot blends fresh interviews with queasy archive footage to recreate a hostile environment of anti-immigrant hysteria and National Front marches. As neo-Nazis recruited the nation’s youth, RAR’s multicultural punk and reggae gigs provided rallying points for resistance. As founder Red Saunders explains: ‘We peeled away the Union Jack to reveal the swastika’. The campaign grew from Hoxton fanzine roots to 1978’s huge antifascist carnival in Victoria Park, featuring X-Ray Spex, Steel Pulse and of course The Clash, whose rock star charisma and gale-force conviction took RAR’s message to the masses.


“An engaging historical story with timely contemporary echoes” - The Hollywood Reporter

“A thrilling, incendiary look at punk’s influence on politics” The Film Stage

“Highly engaging and suddenly very relevant…the treasure trove of archive is variously appalling and inspiring” - Screen International