Black Stories

Tackling issues of race, representation and identity, this collection celebrates the work of Black storytellers who have enriched our understanding of the Black British experience, including landmark features such as Horace Ové's Pressure (1975) and Menelik Shabazz's Burning an Illusion (1981).

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  • Speak Like a Child

    Three teenagers forge a firm friendship while living in a children's home on the remote Northumbrian coast. Linked by a mutual sexual bond, they are involved in a terrible, life-changing incident that forever ties them together. Based on some of writer Danny Padmore's childhood experiences, Speak...

  • Pressure

    Hailed as Britain's first black feature film, Pressure is a hard-hitting, honest document of the plight of disenchanted British-born black youths. Set in 1970s London, it tells the story of Tony, a bright school-leaver, son of West Indian immigrants, who finds himself torn between his parents' ch...

  • Burning an Illusion

    Menelik Shabazz’s pioneering first feature, shot around the communities of Notting Hill and Ladbroke Grove, marked a coming of age for black British cinema. A love story that traces the emotional and political growth of a young black couple in Thatcher's London, it was the first British film to ...

  • Pool of London

    A naive Jamaican sailor on shore leave in London's East End is dragged into a botched diamond robbery when trying to help a friend. Featuring the debut performance of Bermudian actor Earl Cameron - one of the leading black British movie actors working in the 1950s and 1960s - Pool of London is on...

  • Jemima + Johnny

    The friendship of a young white boy and a black girl reaches out across the generations in this uplifting mid-60s short, directed by South African-born actor and anti-Apartheid activist Lionel Ngakane. Against a background media narrative suggesting ever-worsening racial tensions, Jemima + Johnny...

  • White Men Are Cracking Up

    Masie Blue is an enigmatic Black Widow figure under investigation by detective Margrave for her involvement in the suicides of successful white men. Through the blurred lines of perception and reality, the myth of the black feminine mystique is explored under the guise of a murder mystery. Writte...

  • Ten Bob in Winter

    An early classic of Black British cinema about the intriguing social dynamics that arise as a ten shilling note is passed around the black community. A student borrows ten bob from a white man and then in turn lends it to a natty musician. Later, when the student meets an upstanding member of the...