Summer Nights. Cinema and Music Under the Stars
Live music with DJs Mama Shu and Anna-Log
Co-presented with Sitting on the Outside
Rubika Shah, 80 minutes, United Kingdom, 2019. In English
Rubika Shah’s energizing film charts a vital London protest movement.
Rock Against Racism (RAR) was formed in 1976, prompted by “music’s
biggest colonialist” Eric Clapton and his support of racist MP Enoch
Powell. White Riot blends fresh interviews with queasy archive
footage to recreate a hostile environment of anti-immigrant hysteria and
National Front marches. As neo-Nazis recruited the nation’s youth,
RAR’s multicultural punk and reggae gigs provided rallying points for
resistance. As founder Red Saunders explains: “We peeled away the Union
Jack to reveal the swastika.” The campaign grew from Hoxton fanzine
roots to 1978’s huge antifascist carnival in Victoria Park, featuring
X-Ray Spex, Steel Pulse and, of course, The Clash, whose rock star
charisma and gale-force conviction took RAR’s message to the masses.