The 61st BFI London Film Fest is taking place across 20 venues from 04 – 15 October. On offer are 242 feature films from 67 countries, not including the shorts. And there are some good black films being shown. Just in time for the 30th anniversary of black history month. So, can you see them all? Not likely but there are some highlights not to be missed.
In Time For Black History Month
Amongst them is Saturday Church, it follows the life of the teenager Ulysses. His father had died and his mother working nights. So, he has to stay with his mean and controlling aunt. She is determined to shame him out of his desire to wear his mother’s clothes and forces him to be his unruly young brother’s keeper.
Mudbound offers us a much transformed Mary J Blige. Set in the Deep South in 1940’s America, it is about the friendship of two Second World War veterans and their families. One black, one white. It is a searing racial drama about two families.
Roller Dream is also one to watch. It is about the trailblazers of Venice Beach’s roller-dancing scene and the system attempting to crush it. While racially motivated police violence, gang warfare, and unrest blazed through inner-city Los Angeles, Venice Beach was a hub of trailblazing creativity and a haven for young African-Americans. Before the iron fist of the LAPD bore down and gentrification whitewashed the beach.
BFI My Pick
The BFI has selected Breathe to kick off the festival. It’s an inspirational love story about two indomitable people who defy the odds and pave the way for change. But the pick for me is Dolores. Peter Bratt’s inspiring and intimate documentary salutes the life and achievements of little-known but indomitable civil rights activist Dolores Huerta. Dolores founded and led the first farm workers’ union, completely transforming the US labour scene.
But like so many strong women who dare to challenge the establishment, she was attacked on grounds of her gender and ethnicity. Even as she worked tirelessly to empower a generation of immigrant workers to stand up for their rights, she was undermined and side-lined by unfair and untrue allegations regarding her private life and personal conduct as a Latina woman, wife, and mother.
There is lots to see and do and plenty on Black History Month too. So follow this link see what’s on.
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