Black Britain on Film

Striking, illuminating and sometimes surprising images of black culture, community and characters, spanning over a century of British film and TV.

From some of the earliest appearances at the dawn of the 20th century to groundbreaking postwar documentaries and contemporary features, this collection charts changing attitudes and hidden histories. Here are the trailblazers, the icons, the stereotypes, the controversies. These richly varied films uncover sometimes surprising histories of black culture and community. They tackle troubling issues of race, representation and identity. And they highlight some of the best of black British filmmaking, from the work of pioneers Horace Ové and Menelik Shabazz to later innovators John Akomfrah and Ngozi Onwurah to contemporary successes Noel Clarke and Debbie Tucker Green. The collection also showcases many of the most distinctive and iconic black performers in British film and TV, including Norman Beaton, Earl Cameron, Idris Elba, Lenny Henry, Carmen Munroe, Sophie Okonedo, Paul Robeson, Rudolph Walker and Elisabeth Welch.

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Welcome II the TerrordomeWelcome II the Terrordome

Drama199594 minsDirector: Ngozi Onwurah

A ferocious dystopian nightmare, this was the first film directed by a Black British woman to receive a UK theatrical release.

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Flame in the StreetsFlame in the Streets

Drama196193 minsDirector: Roy Ward Baker

John Mills stars as a progressive union leader who is confronted with his own internal prejudices when his daughter brings her West Indian boyfriend home.

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Police drama195992 minsDirector: Basil Dearden

A young student with a secret is brutally murdered in this British Academy Award winning thriller about race, sex and jealousy.

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Kentucky MinstrelsKentucky Minstrels

Musical193566 minsDirector: John Baxter

Rarely-seen 1930s British musical about two African American travelling minstrels in search of entertainment work.

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Wolcott Part 1Wolcott Part 1

Police drama198150 minsDirector: Colin Bucksey

The gritty and ground-breaking drama debuted Britain’s first black TV cop, with George William Harris as the CID officer embroiled in a drug war.

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Wolcott Part 2Wolcott Part 2

Police drama198150 minsDirector: Colin Bucksey

Second episode of the provocative detective drama starring George William Harris.

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Wolcott Part 3Wolcott Part 3

Police drama198152 minsDirector: Colin Bucksey

Continuing the gritty and ground-breaking drama featuring Britain’s first black TV detective.

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Wolcott Part 4Wolcott Part 4

Police drama198142 minsDirector: Colin Bucksey

The concluding episode of the pioneering black detective series.

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A Man's StoryA Man's Story

Documentary201298 minsDirector: Varon Bonicos

A documentary charting twelve years in the career of Savile Row tailor Ozwald Boateng.