Black Lens Film Festival presents Mangrove 9 & Racism: Not Our Problem + Panel Discussion at festival partner, Catford Mews Cinema
MANGROVE 9 1973
40-minute film about the trial and charges that arose from a demonstration to protest against police harassment of the popular Mangrove Restaurant in Notting Hill, London in the early 1970s. An historic event in the life and political development of the black community in Britain. (2012 , DVD)
“A story of conflict between the police and the black community in Notting Hill at the start of 1970s. The central incident of the Mangrove affair took place when a deputation of 150 black people protested against long-term police harassment of the popular Mangrove Restaurant in Ladbroke Grove. The protest – policed by 500 police and a plain clothes police photographer – later led to nine arrests and 29 charges. The nine were Barbara Beese, Rupert Boyce, Frank Critchlow, Rhodan Gordon, Darcus Howe, Anthony Innis, Althea Lecointe Jones, Rothwell Kentish, Godfrey Millett. The charges ranged from making an affray, incitement to riot, assaulting a policeman, having an offensive weapon. 22 of the charges against the nine were dismissed including all the serious ones. Only seven minor counts were found proven.
The high profile trial at the Old Bailey lasted for two months finishing in Dec 1971 with five of the defendants being acquitted, and 22 charges dismissed. Most strikingly, the case made legal history when it delivered the first judicial acknowledgement of ‘evidence of racial hatred’ in the Metropolitan police force.
The Mangrove Nine film portrays an interview with the defendants recorded before the final verdicts were delivered at the trial. It speaks to Ian Macdonald, one of the defending barristers, and others involved in this historic event in the life and political development of the black community in Britain.
The National Council for Civil Liberties commented:
‘It was a denial of justice that the case should have taken a year to bring to trial… that the prosecution should, at the last moment, have re-introduced riot charges which had been rejected by the magistrate at the committal proceedings…that continual police harassment of the black community in Notting Hill Gate – and in particular, of the Mangrove Restaurant – should have been allowed to escalate into a trial that lasted over two months…’
Text selected and presented by: John La Rose
RACISM: NOT OUR PROBLEM 1984
Narrated by Trevor McDonald., this documentary shows the reality of being black and living in Southwark in 1984, by going into schools and looking at what is taught and suggesting as to how the council can provide better services for Black and ethnic groups in the borough.
BLACK LENS FILM FESTIVAL 2021 (#BLFF2021) IS A BLACK CULTURAL ARCHIVES FILM FESTIVAL THAT CELEBRATES NEW BLACK FILMMAKING TALENT WITH SCREENINGS AND EVENTS. BLFF2021 OPENS ON 16TH JULY AND IS PROGRAMMED IN PARTNERSHIP WITH ARTS AND CULTURE AGENCY ALT-AFRICA.COM
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