WINNER: BERLIN FILM FESTIVAL
White Riot, the winner of the 2019 Documentary Prize at the London Film Festival, tells the story of the birth of an inspirational grassroots movement, Rock Against Racism (RAR). In 1970s Britain racism was rife, the National Front was on the rise, and even musician Eric Clapton declared his support of politician Enoch Powell’s anti-immigration policy. All this inspired photographer and theatre activist Red Saunders to form RAR and to stage demonstrations and concerts protesting against far-right politics. Director Rubika Shah, using archival footage, animations and contemporary interviews, traces RAR’s path, culminating in an extraordinary march by 100,000 people across London to the site of an outdoor music gig in East End’s Victoria Park headlined by punk rockers The Clash and Sham 69, reggae icons Steel Pulse and ‘70s fave the Tom Robinson Band. To quote NME, Shah’s film is “a highly relevant reminder of what can be achieved when people unite against the forces of division.