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 and intelligently tackle troubling issues of race, representation and identity.

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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 mins

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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A Taste of HoneyA Taste of Honey

Drama1961102 minsDirector: Tony Richardson

Rita Tushingham delivers a BAFTA-winning performance as a resilient Salford schoolgirl making her way in the world in this classic of 1960s British cinema.

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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 mins

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 mins

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.

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The L-shaped RoomThe L-shaped Room

Drama1962126 minsDirector: Bryan Forbes

Bryan Forbes directs the Oscar-nominated story of a French woman (Leslie Caron) moving to London while unmarried, pregnant, and alone.

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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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Black British Filmmaking
Rentals collection

Black British Filmmaking

A selection of shorts and features by black writers and directors, from milestones of the 60s and 70s to contemporary hits.

More Black Britain films in our Free collection.

More related films in our Rentals collection, Black Star.