Young black political activism and idealism in London is revealed in Generation Revolution, a powerful documentary by first-time directors Usayd Younis and Cassie Quarless.
Black Lives Matterby Alexa Dalby
CAUTION: Here be spoilers
For two years, directors and producers Usayd Younis and Cassie Quarless followed a group of idealistic young black people in London, brought together through Twitter, who formed London Black Revolutionaries. Motivated by their own experiences of explicit racism and frustrated by heavy police presence in their daily lives, they refused to accept injustice and found what they were doing empowering. Other movements formed, such as R Movement and Black Dissidents. They embraced feminism and direct action the streets – telling young black men their rights under stop and search – and humanitarian issues such as the refugee crisis. They tried to alleviate homelessness by putting together carrier bags of ‘aid packages’ and giving them out to rough sleepers. They protested against the gentrification of Brixton, deaths of black men in police custody, against the Tories and they stopped traffic on the M4 with a Black Lives Matter lie-in.
The film follows Tej, Josh, Arnie and Alex, brave and idealistic, as they learn the harsh realities of political activism and how its organisations can echo existing political tensions, test reason against rhetoric, and through the chaos and violence of demonstrations, protest and confrontations with the police, all the while feeling that they couldn’t not do what they are doing because they know it’s right.
Generation Revolution is a committed film that gives an insight into committed young people doing what they believe in against the odds. It is supported by screenings with Q & As around the UK.
Generation Revolution is released on 11 November 2016 in the UK.