tue 20/02/2018

race issues

Black Panther review - more meh than marvellous

Black Panther arrives with all the critics displaying superhero-sized goodwill for its very existence. It’s a big budget mainstream Marvel movie that not only features a nearly all-black cast, but it also has an African-American writer director (...

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Collective Rage, Southwark Playhouse review - a rollicking riot

“Pussy is pussy” and “bitches are bitches” but Jen Silverman’s Collective Rage at Southwark Playhouse smashes such tautologies with roguish comedy in a tight five-hander smartly directed by Charlie Parham.The play is set in New York and follows the...

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Afua Hirsch: Brit(ish) review - essential reading on identity

Usually extracts in newspapers should stimulate the appetite of the reader to get with it; this is a rare moment when the glimpses afforded to Afua Hirsch’s Brit(ish): On Race, Identity and Belonging have peculiarly maligned a complex and amply...

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Kiri, Channel 4 review - transracial adoption drama muddies the waters

“I’m black – I need to find out how black people live.” So reasoned Kiri, sitting in the back seat of the car driven by her social services case worker. She was on the way from her prospective adopters, a white middle-class couple who already...

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DVD/Blu-ray: Detroit

Detroiters razed sections of their own city as surely as Rome did Carthage, during five summer days in 1967. It took, amongst others, the 101st Airborne – victors at the Battle of the Bulge, then just back from Vietnam – to crush America's worst...

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Suburbicon review - George Clooney's jarring pastiche of the American dream

If you’re hoping for an incisive look at Fifties American suburbia in this unappealing film, directed and co-written by George Clooney, you’ll be disappointed. It’s hardly worthy of the director of Good Night, and Good Luck, also set in the Fifties...

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DVD/Blu-ray: Frantz Fanon - Black Face White Mask

The much-respected visual artist Isaac Julien made his name as one of the first great black British filmmakers, not least with Looking for Langston (1989) and Young Soul Rebels (1991). While Steve McQueen moved from gallery art and installations to...

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What Shadows, Royal Lyceum Theatre, Edinburgh review - compelling, urgent, unashamedly provocative

You’ve got to hand it to David Greig. The artistic director of Edinburgh’s Lyceum Theatre has shown quite a knack for surfing the zeitgeist with his programming – and more importantly, tackling urgent political issues in a properly theatrical way.He...

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'No matter where our intersections lie, we are all fundamentally connected'

Trouble in Mind, written by Alice Childress, the black actress, playwright and novelist, first opened at New York’s Greenwich Mews Theatre in November 1955. The show made Childress the first African-American woman to win an Obie Award for an off-...

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DVD/Blu-ray: My Beautiful Laundrette

This rerelease of Stephen Frears’ My Beautiful Laundrette comes as part of the wider BFI programme marking the 50th anniversary of the passing of the Sexual Offences Act 1967, and its presence in that strand, as one of the foremost works of its time...

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DVD/Blu-ray: Daughters of the Dust

Julie Dash’s remarkable 1991 film tells the story of the Peazant family, the descendants of freed slaves who live on the Georgia Sea Islands, an isolated community on the South-Eastern seaboard of the USA, more in touch with African traditions than...

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Lady Day at Emerson's Bar and Grill, Wyndham's Theatre review – searing stuff

Broadway so frequently fetes its visiting Brits that it's nice when the honour is repaid. That said, it's difficult to imagine audiences anywhere remaining unmoved by Audra McDonald's occupancy – "performance" seems too mundane a word – of the...

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