We are delighted to be celebrating Black History Month with a curated selection of some of the most exciting recent films focussing on Black stories and voices, including A Brixton Tale and Pier Kids, alongside some iconic classic titles from three renowned Black filmmakers. Highlights include the pioneering first feature of Menelik Shabazz, Burning An Illusion, Perry Henzell’s rediscovered road movie No Place Like Home and Julie Dash’s ground-breaking Daughters of the Dust.
Honouring the life and work of pioneering Black British director Menelik Shabazz, who sadly passed away earlier this year, the Filmhouse is screening his debut film, Burning An Illusion, which marked a coming of age for Black British cinema. Through the love story of a young Black couple in Thatcher’s London, the film charts Pat Williams’ (Cassie McFarlane) journey to emotional maturity, emancipation and political awakening.
Believed lost for over 25 years, No Place Like Home is Perry Henzell’s little known follow up to The Harder They Come. A freewheeling road movie through 1970s Jamaica, the film has been rediscovered and restored, and this definitive version is now being presented for the first time in the UK.
The first wide release by a Black female filmmaker and an influential landmark in cinema history, Julie Dash’s Daughters of the Dust follows a multi-generational family in the Gullah community on the Sea Islands off of South Carolina – former West African slaves who adopted many of their ancestors’ Yoruba traditions – as they struggle to maintain their cultural heritage and folklore.
Among the recent releases are A Brixton Tale, a powerful, thrilling drama and star-crossed romance that confronts class, race and love in modern Britain, and Pier Kids, an intimate and moving film about three gay and transgender youths of colour who find themselves homeless in New York City after coming out to their families.
There is also a chance to see My Name Is Pauli Murray, the illuminating documentary about a pioneering Black attorney and activist who wrestled with gender identity and shaped landmark litigation around race and gender equity. The season also includes further screenings of Gagarine, a tender and authentic exploration of loneliness and community through the eyes of an ingenious Black teenager, trying to survive in a Parisian housing estate that is threatened with demolition.
Black History Month screenings take place between Friday 15 and Sunday 31 October with full details of times and dates available here.
Further screenings celebrating Black filmmakers and stories will be scheduled for later in the autumn, in conjunction with Royal & Derngate’s Made in Northampton production Blue/Orange, curated by the cast and creative team of that much anticipated production.
For most screenings, tickets are priced at £10.50 with concessions available for over 60s, under 14s, students, receivers of Universal credit and disabled patrons. Monday to Thursday, tickets for 16 to 25 year olds are just £5.50 for standard screenings. Tickets must be booked in advance and will be sent as e-tickets.
Full details of all Covid safety measures can be found here