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- SAT 1 SEP, 14:00 – SCREENING + Q&A: Two Gentlemen Sharing (Ted Kotcheff, 1969) / Onstage: actor Esther Anderson, plus director Ted Kotcheff and actor Judy Geeson via Skype
- TUE 4 SEP, 18:20 – TALK: Black and Banned: Season Introduction
- THU 6 SEP, 19:00 – TALK: Free Speech ‘Punch Up’!
- MON 10 SEP, 18:10 – SCREENING + DISCUSSION: Save the Children Fund Film (Ken Loach, 1971)
- SAT 15 SEP, 13:00 – TALK: Black, British, Banned!
- SUN 16 SEP, 17:15 – SCREENING + Q&A: Home Again (Sudz Sutherland, 2012) / Onstage: Kunle Olulode, director of Voice4Change and Patrick Vernon, activist and commentator
- TUE 9 OCT, 18:10 – SCREENING + Q&A: Winnie (Pascale Lamche, 2017) / Onstage: director Pascale Lamche
- TUE 9 OCT, 20:30 – SCREENING + Q&A: Black Power Salute (BBC, 2008) / Onstage: Athlete Tommie Smith in conversation with Kunle Olulode, director of Voice4Change
Black and Banned 2018 season, BFI African Odyssey's
This season draws on a wide range of film, TV documentary and drama that deserve screening in their own right, as well as for the questions they provoke about yesterday and today, writes season programmer David Somerset Our monthly African Odysseys screenings (which have run for over 10 years) showcase films by and about the people of Africa.
They offer unique perspectives and intrinsic artistic worth, yet some of these titles were denied wider exposure for allegedly subversive content: their ideas, politics, themes or storylines were deemed incompatible with the values of the day. Such censorship is occasionally imposed by governments, but more often than not it’s covertly assumed within the film industry, and even within the social, critical and academic community. We offer you a sample of these – uncensored – titles, and invite you to make up your own mind…
Black and Banned Season: The Films You Weren’t Allowed to See will offer audiences a vital insight into the wide range of films, TV documentaries and dramas by and about the African diaspora that were subject to censorship of some form. The programme, which is part of BFI Southbank’s ongoing AFRICAN ODYSSEYS series, follows on from the BFI’s major 2016 season BLACK STAR (see listing), which sought to champion work by black actors. Titles being screened will include Raoul Peck’s Lumumba (2000), which was censored for revealing details about CIA complicity, Ken Loach’s banned documentary Save the Children Fund Film (1971) which was filmed in the UK, Kenya and Uganda to mark the 50th anniversary of the charity, and The Spook Who Sat by the Door (Ivan Dixon, 1973), the story of a ‘token black’ CIA recruit which was effectively buried by the FBI, who seized and destroyed all but one film print.
The season also coincides with the 50th anniversary of the iconic moment that American athletes Tommie Smith and John Carlos stood on the podium at the 1968 Olympic Games in Mexico and each held up black-gloved salute in a silent protest for civil rights. To mark the anniversary of an event that reshaped public perception of equality across the world, BFI Southbank will welcome Tommie Smith to take part in a Q&A on Tuesday 9 October following a screening of the BBC documentary Black Power Salute (BBC, 2008). The works screening in BLACK AND BANNED offer unique perspectives and intrinsic artistic worth, yet were denied wider exposure for allegedly subversive content: their ideas, politics, themes or storylines were deemed incompatible with the values of the day. Such censorship is occasionally imposed by governments, but more often than not it’s covertly assumed within the film industry, and even within the social, critical and academic community; this season is an opportunity for audiences to see the uncensored material for themselves so they can make up their own mind.
Other special events during the season will include a season introduction from programmer David Somerset and Voice4Change’s Kunle Olulode on Tuesday 4 September, a screening of acclaimed documentary Winnie (2017) about the former first lady of South Africa, followed by a Q&A with its director Pascale Lamche, and a screening of the rarely shown Two Gentlemen Sharing (Ted Kotcheff, 1969), which follows an ambitious young Jamaican in swinging London who battles everyday racism as he tries to enter the hallowed portals of British business. The film, which was given an X certificate and never released in the UK, will be screened on Saturday 1 September followed by a Q&A with actor Esther Anderson, plus director Ted Kotcheff and actor Judy Geeson via Skype.
Other titles screening will include: Home Again (Sudz Sutherland, 2012), Goodbye Uncle Tom (Gualtiero Jacopetti, Franco Prosperi, 1971), Camp de Thiaroye (Ousmane Sembene, 1987), Come Back, Africa (Lionel Rogosin, 1959), Right On! (Herbert Danska, 1970) Ava & Gabriel: A Love Story (Felix de Rooy, 1990), Fable (1965, BBC) and Half of a Yellow Sun (Biyi Bandele, 2013).