QFW: BEYOND “There’s Always a Black Issue, Dear” + in Conversation

2018| 15| 75 mins|

Directed by: Claire Lawrie
Starring: Andy Polaris, Frank Akinsete, Kenny Campbell, Winn Austin

The 1980s has been recognised as a period of great creativity and cross-pollination, a time where, in spite of harsh political realities and the onslaught of HIV, London creative’s and nightclub kids expressed a myriad of identities. But recognition of the influential contribution of the era’s black and LGBTQIA+ community has been less documented.

Beyond ‘There’s Always A Black Issue, Dear’, addresses the omission of these voices and explores the stories of 10 interwoven black & LGBTQIA+ lives, to demarcate and celebrate the particular influence that black LGBT culture has had upon fashion, fine art, dance, music and language, much of which has been appropriated by the cultural mainstream.  Growing up in Thatcher’s Britain, children of the Windrush generation, and the first generation to grow up after the partial decriminalisation of homosexuality, the cast vividly recall daring to be different.

Ballet dancing boys, and make-up wearing, gender-fluid school days, are described with humour. Their experiences shed new light on the UK in the 1970s/80s as it began to come to terms with both multiculturalism and sexual freedom. Creating their own identities in a time when, ‘if you were black you could be either Reggae or Soul’, these are the untold stories, where a queer black London begins to emerge. Soul and Disco, Punks and Blitz Kids meet. Beyond captures a vital historical period, that creates connections for the audience between the recent past and contemporary challenges. Here are the trailblazers.

We are delighted to be joined by director Claire Lawrie and star Winn Austin for an In Conversation discussion following the screening.

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