Hailed as the UK’s first Black dramatic feature-length film, Pressure is a hard-hitting, honest document of the plight of disenchanted British-born black youths. Set in 1970s London, it tells the story of Tony, a bright school-leaver, son of West Indian immigrants, who finds himself torn between his parents’ church-going conformity and his brother’s Black Power militancy. As his initially high hopes are repeatedly dashed – he cannot find work anywhere, potential employers treat him with suspicion because of his colour – his sense of alienation grows.
In a bid to find a sense of belonging, he joins his black friends who, estranged from their submissive parents, seek a sense of purpose in the streets and in chases with the police. An angry but sincere and balanced film, Pressure deals with the identity struggles that children of immigrants have to face and Horace Ové makes the most of his combination of professional actors and local non-actors from the streets of London. Made by Trinidadian director Horace Ove, Pressure is widely acknowledged to have kick-started black British cinema. This is truly a piece of cinematic history.
Panel discussion: A Tribute to Sir Horace Ove
Sir Horace Shango Ové CBE (born 1936) is a Trinidad and Tobago-born British filmmaker, photographer, painter and writer. One of the leading black independent filmmakers to emerge in Britain in the post-war period, Ové holds the Guinness World Record for being the first black British filmmaker to direct a feature-length film, Pressure (1976).
Herbert Norville (born 1957 in London) is an English actor known for his appearances in many British films in the 70s and 80s such as Scum (1979), Pressure (1976), Meantime (1983), Full Metal Jacket (1987) and Bugsy Malone (1976).
Robert Buckler is a Film and TV Producer/Screenwriter. He started his career in the script and continuity department and then went on to produce many films and television series, starting with Pressure in 1976.
Emmanuel Anyiam Osigwe is a director and writer, known for Absolutely Marvellous, The Mud Hut and Ancestors. He was awarded the MBE (Member of the Order of the British Empire) in the 2020 Queen’s New Years Honours List for his services to the Black and Minority Ethnic Film Industry. He was the Founder and Chairman of the British Urban Film Festival in Greater London N1, England. Book tickets here;
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