Expired November 30, 2020 10:00 PM
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“We peeled away the Union Jack to reveal the swastika,” Red Saunders, Founder of Rock Against Racism.

Rubika Shah’s documentary explores Rock Against Racism, which united punk, ska, reggae and new wave against the National Front (NF) in the 1970s. Concerned by the growing popularity of the NF and galvanised by Eric Clapton’s on-stage support for the reactionary politician Enoch Powell, a group of young Londoners wrote to the New Musical Express in 1976 urging its readers to join a “rank and file movement against the racist poison in rock music”. That’s exactly what happened: rejecting the nihilist postures of punk, bands toured the country chanting down Babylon, and radical politics found an insurgent soundtrack. White Riot was made well before the anti-racist protests triggered by the murder of George Floyd, but it’s hard not to detect resonances between the tumults it depicts and those that have taken place earlier this summer.

White Riot uses archive footage and stills brilliantly. It dispenses with expositional voiceover and clocks in at a lean 80 mins. But all of that pales beside its central 

message. To stop racism - and any form of discrimination - you have to be vigilant, committed, brave and unified, day after day after day. But it can be done. And that’s worth hearing right now.” - Chris Waywell, Time Out

“An excellent brief documentary about a heroic grassroots political movement whose importance reveals itself more clearly in retrospect with every year that passes.” - Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian

  • Year
  • Runtime
    80 minutes
  • Language
  • Country
    United Kingdom
  • Rating
  • Director
    Rubika Shah
  • Cast
    Red Saunders, Roger Huddle, Kate Webb, Dennis Bovell, Myaell Riley.