Streaming: White Riot

October 16–January 10, 2020

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Free Conversation
Rubika Shah and V. Vale

Watch an exclusive recorded conversation between White Riot director Rubika Shah and writer, editor, and musician V. Vale.

An exuberant account of grassroots antifascists in the 1970s, White Riot chronicles the efforts of a gang of British music fans to counter the rising tide of racism and the growing popularity of the UK’s right-wing National Front. Appalled by racist statements made by guitarist Eric Clapton, photographer and agitprop theater director Red Saunders mobilized a group of like-minded collaborators. They started organizing Rock Against Racism (RAR) shows with the aim of bringing together Black and white bands and audiences, and also produced Temporary Hoarding, a fanzine that combined music reviews and interviews with reports on urgent social and political issues. Director Rubika Shah channels the spirit of the movement with zine-inspired graphics, archival footage, music by The Clash, Sham 69, X-Ray Spex, Steel Pulse, and Alien Culture, and interviews with veterans of the scene—like Pauline Black of The Selecter, who quips, “Rock Against Racism was white people finally waking up to the fact there was racism here. Please! We were living it!” Jackson Caines writes in Glass Magazine, “White Riot is a welcome tribute to RAR’s first, most vibrant chapter—an extraordinary fusion of culture and politics that changed society for the better.”

Kate MacKay
  • Rubika Shah
  • Ed Gibbs
  • Susanne Salavati
Print Info
  • B&W/Color
  • Digital streaming
  • 84 mins
  • Film Movement