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Soul in a White Room

An intimate encounter suggested by two pairs of hands

Animation & Artists Moving Image 1968 3 mins


Soul in a White Room, filmed around the autumn of 1968, suggests an intimate encounter between a white woman and a black man. The film begins with a pair of female hands stroking the back of a man wearing a white jumper. A second shot reveals the woman’s bottom being caressed by the man’s hands. The man is Omar Diop-Blondin, a Senegalese political militant who had been involved in the May 1968 student protests in Paris. Diop was in London at the time taking part in Jean-Luc Godard’s Sympathy for the Devil, along with a Frankie Y and the other black panthers in London. After returning to Senegal, Diop was imprisoned and killed in 1973.

Founded in 1966, the London Film-Makers’ Co-operative started life at Better Books, a counter-culture bookshop on Charing Cross Road, where a group led by poet Bob Cobbing and filmmakers Stephen Dwoskin, Simon Hartog and Jeff Keen met to screen films. Initially inspired by the activities of the New American Cinema Group in New York, the London Co-op grew into a pioneering organisation that incorporated a film workshop, cinema space and distribution office. During its four-decade history, the Co-op played a crucial role in establishing film as an art form in the UK and participated in a vibrant international film scene. This BFI Player collection brings together new scans of films distributed by and/or produced at the London Co-op.