tue 29/09/2020

race issues

Ian Williams: Reproduction review - a dazzling kaleidoscope of life's tragicomedy

Ian Williams’s writing is always in motion. For his 2012 poetry collection Personals, and since, he has composed little circular poems, similar (in style though not sentiment) to the posies you sometimes find inscribed on the inside of rings. He...

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Sudhir Hazareesingh: Black Spartacus review – the life, and thought, of the first black super-hero

The former slave, and coachman on a sugar plantation, began one of his early public proclamations in a typically defiant vein: “I am Toussaint Louverture, you have perhaps heard my name.” At that point, in 1793, almost everyone in the French...

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White Riot review - energetic documentary races through the history of Rock Against Racism

This documentary about the 1970s activist movement Rock Against Racism comes with festival prizes and much acclaim. It’s certainly a nostalgic feast for those old enough to remember when punk and reggae musicians were purposely united and it’s a...

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Nick Hornby: Just Like You review - funny but inauthentic Brexit novel

Nick Hornby’s protagonists are worlds apart. Joseph is a Black 22-year-old with a “portfolio career", which includes shift work at a butcher’s and a leisure centre and the distant dream of becoming a DJ. Lucy, a regular customer at the butcher’s...

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Les Misérables review - exhilarating French policier

The only thing confusing with Les Misérables is its pointedly provocative title, as there are no costumed urchins and no singing involved. Searching online to find the UK cinemas where it’s playing this week entails a trek past the...

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Lovecraft Country, Sky Atlantic review - Misha Green, Jordan Peele and JJ Abrams take us on horror-driven road trip

The timing couldn’t be more perfect for a series like Lovecraft Country (Sky Atlantic) in the wake of the Black Lives Matter movement. Here we have a spectacular show in which fantasy, horror and America’s racist legacy collide with remarkable...

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Zalika Reid-Benta: Frying Plantain review - tales of growing up young, black and female in Toronto

It is as unsurprising as it is vital that a spotlight has been thrown on writing by people of colour this year. It is unsurprising, too – looking at bestseller lists on both sides of the Atlantic since June – that most of that light is being shed on...

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Everything: The Real Thing Story, BBC Four review - brilliant but long overdue

This documentary is bittersweet viewing on quite a number of levels. First, it’s got all the glory and tragedy of the most compelling music stories: a Liverpool band struggling from humble beginnings, trying to find an identity, fraternity and...

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Imagine... My Name is Kwame, BBC One review - interesting but incomplete

Filmed, as one would, well, imagine, prior to lockdown, Imagine .... My Name is Kwame hearkens to what now seems a bygone era of full and buzzy playhouses and adventurous theatre-making that was about the live experience and not some facsimile...

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The Talk, Channel 4 review - coping with the legacy of racism

Shall we talk about racism? Currently we seem to be talking about it all the time, and it’s the question non-white parents in Britain sooner or later find themselves pondering as they watch their children grow up in our increasingly confrontational...

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The Merchant of Venice, BBC iPlayer review – a parable on the limits of tolerance

Ah, 2015. Those halcyon days of packed theatres. Thank God the RSC had the presence of mind to film Polly Findlay’s production of The Merchant of Venice, now streaming on BBC iPlayer. Condensed into just over two hours, it’s a thoughtful take on...

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Coincoin and the Extra-Humans review – God's gunk

It’s no accident that the eponymous young antihero of Coincoin and the Extra-Humans loses his virginity to the daughter of a French white nationalist in a field close to a sewage farm. The stench of racism pervades the hilarity of Bruce Dumont’s...

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