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Burning an Illusion (Menelik Shabazz, 1981), BFI Blu-ray & Digital release 19 Sept

Burning an Illusion (Menelik Shabazz, 1981), BFI Blu-ray & Digital release 19 Sept

BFI Blu-ray, BFI Player Subscription, iTunes and Amazon Prime release on 19 September 2022

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BURNING AN ILLUSION(1981), the pioneering first feature from Menelik Shabazz, marked a coming of age for Black British cinema. A film about transformation and identity, this sensitive and entertaining love story traces the emotional and political growth of a young Black couple in Thatcher’s London. After its recent run at BFI Southbank and selected cinemas, it comes to Blu-ray on 19 September with simultaneous release on BFI Player Subscription, iTunes and Amazon Prime.

Pat (Cassie McFarlane), an ordinary London girl with a caring family, a job she enjoys and her own flat, seeks nothing more than to settle down to a life of married, middle-class conformity. Her cosy world is jolted when she meets Del (Victor Romero Evans), a charming and vaguely discontented toolmaker, who soon moves in but then loses his job, causing them both to challenge their assumptions about each other and their aspirations.

Special features

  • Presented in High Definition
  • Vintage commentary by Menelik Shabazz, Cassie McFarlane and Victor Romero Evans (2001)
  • Introduction by Menelik Shabazz (2005, 10 mins): the director discusses the background to Burning an Illusion and Blood Ah Goh Run
  • Cassie McFarlane Introduction (2022, 7 mins): the actor talks about her role and discusses the film’s production
  • Blood Ah Goh Run (1982, 13 mins): a short documentary on the response to the New Cross fire of 1981 and the Black People’s Day of Action
  • Step Forward Youth (1977, 29 mins): interviews with first-generation Black British youth on their attitudes to identity, family, police, race and fashion
  • Original theatrical trailer
  • Gallery
  • Sleeve featuring original poster artwork by Anum Iyapo and Shakka Dedi

·         ***First pressing only*** Illustrated booklet with a new essay by Alex Ramon, an article by Dr Clive Nwonka from Sight and Sound (March 2022), an interview with Menelik Shabazz from Monthly Film Bulletin (1988), a director biography, notes on the special features and credits

Product details

RRP: £19.99 / Cat. no. BFIB1472 / 15

UK / 1981 / colour / 106 minutes / English language, with optional subtitles for the Deaf and partial hearing | original aspect ratio 1.66:1 //BD50: 1080p, 24fps, PCM 2.0 mono audio (48kHz/24-bit)

See Also

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