White Riot

80 mins.
Directed by Rubika Shah
2020

Playing through November 5.
 

  • Platform:  AmherstCinemaAtHome.org
  • Ticket details:  $12 ticket price  //  30 days to start watching  //  two days to finish once started
  • How to watch:  Through the internet browser on your computer, tablet, or smart phone
     

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Rubika Shah’s award-winning and energising film charts a vital national 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 co-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.


"The movie is especially compelling in its depiction of political organization in the analog age... both heartening and headbanging." Glenn Kenny. A New York Times Critic's Pick!