Taking place last Wednesday 2nd May 2012 – on the eve of London’s mayoral elections, what could be more poignant than watching a film about the so-called ‘Class Divide’, on a council estate that has become synonymous with the struggle of the underclasses for all the wrong reasons?
Following a season of unrest in the UK, last year’s riots and then the Occupy movement. People feel further and further removed from the public school boys currently running the country. Many feel that London has lost it’s feeling of community, which was highlighted when the television news was broadcasting scenes of looting and arson in areas of London, supposedly being perpetrated by the very youths who grew up in those areas. As we know, T.V. can paint a picture any way it wants by manipulating the images and what is reported alongside them, but a feeling of belonging, pride and community may have kept more kids off the streets or at least protested in a way that didn’t bring shame on the areas where they live.
The Other Cinema is aiming to do just that, to bring communities across London, the U.K. and internationally together. United by films and events which can become shared experiences, and to nurture and encourage local people to make films which involve local talent, to tell a story, make people laugh, cry but above all, bring them together and inspire them.
From the creators of Secret Cinema, The Other Cinema launched with a free screening of LA HAINE at the Broadwater Farm Estate in Tottenham, London.
Organised by Fabien Riggall, founder of Secret Cinema and local residents Isaac & Moses with the team from ‘The Other Cinema Broadwater Farm’, tickets were only available to people from the estate and the surrounding community, and a few outsiders who were lucky enough to share in this event. A packed house of 400 people near capacity was a fantastic turn out, the crowd showing real enthusiasm to make a positive change.
The night played host to a real mix of local talent, who were all on hand to greet the audience as they arrived at the Broadwater Farm Community Centre, breakdancers, spoken word/beat poets, BMX riders, graffiti artists and a local boxer, just turned pro Daniel Soares – all of whom contributed to the set design and performance for this production.
Asian Dub Foundation, the Mercury Prize-nominated British electronica band, performed and composed a live score for the production at Broadwater Farm, the first live scrore of La Haine since their performance back at The Barbican in since 2001.
Here is our tribute to the evening, a selection of photos set to the spoken word piece by Sonny Green (SGB).
On entering the Community Centre the smell of home cooked food was overwhelming, with jerk chicken, hotdogs and falafel all on offer courtesy of Sion Williams who runs the kitchen at the community centre. Once fed and watered we took our seats in the main hall and we were welcomed by Clasford Stirling, one of the community leaders in the area. His mission to change the image of Broadwater Farm from one of the worst estates in Europe to one of the best in the World.
As part of The Other Cinema network and tour, the production travelled from Broadwater Farm to The Troxy in Limehouse on 4th May, launch in outskirts of Paris, Saint-Ouen (free community screening) and conclude at Le Trianon in central Paris on 5th May where this production will close, the eve of the second round of the French presidential elections. Screenings are confirmed in 12 cities and towns in England and France from 2nd to 5th May, including Tallinn, Estonia.
The full line-up of talent at Broadwater Farm Community Centre totaled more than 25 performers, including: Akala, English poet, rapper and journalist; Daniel Soares, world challenger boxer and spoken word crew, Lyrix Organix (Andy Princz, Tat Yin, James Battley, Joanna Layla, Rami Baouimy Louis Michel, Sandra Bello). Additionally performances included dancers – Olly Gerrie, Alex Ateo, Sam Allison, Magneto, Rick Veda and Ian Powis; Trial Riders – Nick Goddard, Bennet, Graffiti Artists – Jim Vision, Alexandre Pierre, Morgan Davy and Jonny – Topdog and MC Angel, SGB and DJ Smokey.
The Other Cinema employed 12 young people from the community to work on this production.
Before the main event a short film competition took place. 3 pieces were shown. All having been made locally by residents over the space of just 1 week. All of them solid works. The first was ‘I am Your Hate’, the second ‘Block Life’ and the third ‘Cross Over’. I’m not sure if they are available online – they certainly should be! Winner was Max Witting for ‘Cross Over’ – who also received a distribution deal with Future Shorts which runs The Other Cinema, as well as some mentoring and an internship.
We were then treated to a special personalised introduction on screen from the director of La Haine, Mathieu Kassovitz. This was a really nice touch and he was very humbled that his film 17 years on still has a relevant place in society.
“I’m proud and honored that LA HAINE after all these years is still a symbol of rebellion for old and new generations. The choice of Tottenham for the first screening is a symbolic one; youth are still at lost in this globalized political world and don’t have any other voice to be heard than violence. I hope these screenings will help remember what we fight for. No justice.”