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THE PEOPLE'S ACCOUNT

UK, 1987 (MIFF 1988, Documentary)

Director: Milton Bryan

In 1985 a black woman was shot by the police in Brixton. A few weeks later another died in her home in Tottenham when the police "unlawfully" entered to search the property. As a result of these two incidents the black community reacted. The authorities and Fleet Street in their characteristic manner called it a “riot" perpetrated by "criminal elements" and "political agitators"

The People's Account paints quite a different picture. Focusing largely on the Broadwater Farm community in Tottenham, it gives the people's account of last autumn's uprisings as one of self defence and resistance to racist oppression. Using interviews with people from Broadwater Farm, Brixton and Birmingham, the documentary traces the historical and contemporary relationship between black people and the police, their social and economic conditions, and the role the press (in collusion with the police) has played in Tottenham and Birmingham to sensationalise and undermine the significance of the uprisings

A comparison with South Afnca presents a very serious indictment on British society. The video ends on a very prophetic note, warning of more violent confrontations if black people's demands for equality and justice are not met within British society.

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