Films on police racism and workers’ rights

This video from Britain is called SUS Original Cinema Trailer.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Capitalism’s innate brutality

Wednesday 15 September 2010

by Paddy McGuffin

The three releases here are very different in form and presentation but share a central theme – injustice, and the struggle to have that injustice recognised.

First up is the long-awaited DVD release of SUS, the film adaptation of Barrie Keefe‘s devastatingly powerful 1979 play.

Set on the eve of Thatcher‘s election SUS focuses on a young black man brought into a London police station for the alleged murder of his heavily pregnant wife who has been found dead having bled to death in their flat.

Initially British-born Afro-Caribbean Delroy is unaware of the seriousness of the charge against him, assuming that he has yet again been the victim of the notorious Section 44 stop and search powers. As the night wears on and the election results roll in he is plunged into a nightmarish scenario gleefully exploited by two racist cops high on the notion of the “new dawn” of Thatcherism and their own searing bigotry.

Clint Dyer gives an astounding performance as Delroy, forced to endure a seemingly unending catalogue of humiliation, cruelty and abuse. His face brilliantly portrays the rollercoaster of emotions Delroy is put through, from cocky contempt to abject despair.

Ralph Brown and Rafe Spall also give very strong performances as his racist tormentors.

Although obviously a play adapted for screen, and perhaps suffering slightly in the transition, SUS remains an incredibly powerful work that leaves the viewer emotionally exhausted and full of anger by the end.

Real footage from the period of anti-racist protests and the infamous 1979 election give the film context for those who need it and add to the overall atmosphere.

If there is a criticism it is that SUS very much feels like a play and sometimes the acting reflects that, the excellent Dyer excepted. But, along with the brutality, the film is shot through with gems of black mordant humour which add to the disconcerting feel. A recommended watch.

Face The Facks is an equally important and moving offering in the form of a documentary. Produced by Families Against Corporate Killers. It gives a devastating insight into the pain of families who have lost their loved ones in work-related incidents and the obscene lack of justice they have received.

This short film – just over half an hour in length – packs a powerful emotional punch and shows the inspirational bravery of the families in their pursuit of justice.

Face The Facks should be required viewing for all MPs who would loosen health and safety laws, judges who hand down paltry fines and bosses who flagrantly flout the safety of their workers.

Another crucial issue is addressed in the short film by the Blacklist Support Group. Named simply Blacklisted, the film was premiered at the TUC congress this week.

Over 3,000 workers were revealed last year to have been blacklisted by Ian Kerr’s Consulting Association. Mainly in the construction sector, these workers were denied employment for their trade union activity, in some cases for years.

Blacklisted tells the story of some of those workers, of whom special mention must go to Steve Acheson who continues to stage a one-man picket outside the power station at Fiddlers Ferry from which he was sacked for union activities.

The film follows the campaign, including demonstrations outside the National Building Industry Awards where the campaigners hand out a “Blacklister of the Year Award.” The history of blacklisting is also acknowledged with a touching tribute to Des Warren of the Shrewsbury pickets.

An important film and an important campaign, both of which should be supported.

1 thought on “Films on police racism and workers’ rights

  1. Pingback: Racism from nazi Germany to today | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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