Socialist Worker

Black Stories on the BFI

Issue No. 2711

Harriet is available on BFI Player

Harriet is available on BFI Player


The British Film institute has drawn together a number of films on its BFI Player into a new collection—Black Stories.

They include Harriet—the 2019 film about the life of liberated slave and freedom fighter Harriet Tubman.

Born into slavery, Tubman escaped the US South and travelled alone over 100 miles on foot to the first free state, Philadelphia.

She returned as a fugitive over 13 times helping more than 70 people escape.

The collection also features a documentary about the life of writer and Civil Rights activist James Baldwin.

The film, I Am Not Your Negro, is based on an unfinished manuscript of a book Baldwin was unable to complete before his death.

The work, Remember This House, recounts the lives and assassinations of Medgar Evers, Malcolm X and Martin Luther King.

Then there’s British film Bullet Boy. Ricky is released from prison, but soon finds himself drawn back into crime while trying to protect his brother from the advances of a local gang.

When director Saul Dibbs spoke to Socialist Worker in 2005 he said he wanted to “humanise” the issue of gang violence, “to say this is happening to ordinary people.

“If you look around the country the issue of people with guns goes across all races. It’s got much more to do with people who feel excluded, or haven’t got much vested interest in society. The people who get involved in this kind of thing feel that they haven’t got that much to lose.”

Films available to stream for a fee at player.bfi.org.uk

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