"It's a cliché to describe a film as 'essential viewing', but this really is." ★★★★ Little White Lies

Showing Times

Rubika Shah’s energising film profiles an historic national protest, providing an example of what can be achieved by a grassroots political movement. Rock Against Racism (RAR) was formed in 1976, prompted by ‘music’s biggest colonialist’ Eric Clapton and his support of racist MP Enoch Powell. White Riot blends fresh interviews with queasy archive footage to recreate a hostile environment of anti-immigrant hysteria and fascist National Front marches.

As neo-Nazis recruited the nation’s youth, RAR’s multicultural punk and reggae gigs provided rallying points for resistance. Co-founder Red Saunders explains: "We peeled away the Union Jack to reveal the swastika." The campaign grew from Hoxton fanzine roots to 1978’s huge antifascist carnival in Victoria Park, which featured X-Ray Spex, Steel Pulse and The Clash, whose rock star charisma and gale-force conviction took RAR’s message to the masses.

The film won 'Best Documentary' at last year's BFI London Film Festival.

“Inspiring story of how punk and reggae gave racism the finger in ’70s Britain” ★★★★Time Out

“A timely look back to the birth of Rock Against Racism…brilliantly uplifting." Mark Kermode


Film Information

80 mins

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