We Are Parable present Who We Are
An online takeover exploring the artistry behind Black British Film.
From Menelik Shabazz and Horace Ove, to Ngozi Omunwah and Destiny Ekagrgha, we wanted to create this specially curated collection of Black British Films to truly represent our lives. By highlighting a range of stories in Britain over the last 40 years, we celebrate the filmmaking pioneers such as John Akomfrah that tell us Who We Are.
- Anthony and Teanne Andrews, co-founders We Are Parable
Documentary196525 minsDirector: Peter Davis
A fascinating, unsettling study of immigration in 1960s English cities.
Through a series of interviews, we're given insight into the role race and immigration played in mid-1960s British society - and forced to confront the reality that new migrants were not only unwelcome, but also not seen as social equals.
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.
Before Luther, there was Winston Churchill Wolcott. Problematic moniker aside, this was billed as the first British TV show to be fronted by a Black detective and, since being screened in 1981, it has never been broadcast again.
Documentary198213 minsDirector: Menelik Shabazz
This documentary by Menelik Shabazz (Burning an Illusion) about the response to the New Cross Fire in 1981 prefigures the widespread social unrest later that year.
Menelik Shabazz documents the march that took place in protest of the New Cross fire that killed 13 young Black people in 1981. Shabazz perfectly captures not only the anger, but the togetherness of the protesters, in scenes that will seem particularly timely.
Biopic198817 minsDirector: Ngozi Onwurah
Experimental monologue about the trauma of racial harassment and self-hate that accompanies growing up mixed-race in Britain.
Ngozi Onwurah uses spoken word and shocking visuals to tell a heartbreaking account of her early experiences with racism.
198850 minsDirector: D. Elmina Davis
The women of Rastafari talk about their relationship to the movement’s development.
Rastafarian women talk about their relationship to the movement’s development. This film by Ceddo Film and Video Collective explores the history of the religious group, looking first at its roots in Jamaica, and then its then present day manifestation in late 1980s Britain.
Drama199394 minsDirector: Ngozi Onwurah
A ferocious dystopian nightmare, this was the first film directed by a Black British woman to receive a UK theatrical release.
Ngozi Onumwah's film was the first UK feature made by a Black woman to receive a theatrical release. Set in a dystopian nightmare, Onumwah's film is damning indictment on the abuse of power and its victims.
Documentary199670 minsDirector: Isaac Julien
Isaac Julien and Mark Nash’s celebrated experimental documentary about the Afro-Caribbean psychiatrist and revolutionary.
This 1997 docudrama film about the life of the martiniquais psychiatrist and civil rights activist Frantz Fanon combines fact and fiction, whilst Colin Salmon offers historical re-enactments. Highly recommended.
Animation & Artists Moving Image19974 minsDirector: Victor Olusola Opeyokun
Animated awakening: a young black man in an oppressive urban environment finds a new outlook by embracing his African roots
A young black man feels rooted to the spot in an isolating urban environment - yet roots also prove to be the escape, as he begins to embrace his African heritage and find a new harmony to the beat of a drum.
Musical199877 minsDirector: Julian Henriques
Neeta and her crew rise to dancehall fame in North West London's Caribbean community, in the first Black British musical.
Often thought of as the first Black British musical, Julian Henriques' film is a tale of family and friendship. The climatic "clash" scene at the end of the film always brings a smile to our faces.
Drama200591 minsDirector: Menhaj Huda
Noel Clarke and Menhaj Huda’s explosive youth film follows the drug, sex and crime-fuelled antics of a group of West London teens over the course of a single day.
Noel Clarke writes and stars in a story that follows a group of teenagers who, after been given the day off of school, find themselves making decisions that will change their lives forever.
Drama200899 minsDirector: Noel Clarke
After being released from prison following a murder charge, Sam Peel (Noel Clarke) attempts to reboot his life and seek redemption.
Noel Clarke stars, writes and directs the hugely successful sequel to Kidulthood. After serving time in prison, Sam Peel arrives back home a different person. But a familiar face from his past is out for revenge.
Drama201012 minsDirector: Mark Gutteridge
Award-winning short film about the chance encounter between a ballerina and a local schoolboy.
A girl's (Tahirah Sharif) developing adolescent shape is a problem at a top London ballet school. A local schoolboy (Joe Cole) is struggling with his exams. Their chance encounter leads him on a mission to where the analysis of adults is all that counts.
Documentary201092 minsDirector: John Akomfrah
John Akomfrah mixes archive material, literary and musical quotations and newly shot silent footage in a wry, rapt meditation on memory and migration.
John Akomfrah's thought provoking, experimental documentary takes us to Alaska, as he uses spoken word and striking imagery to tell the story of mass immigration to Britain in the 1960's.
Documentary201191 minsDirector: Carol Morley
Carol Morley's drama-documentary investigates the tragic death of a woman whose body lay undetected for almost three years.
Zawe Ashton gives an exceptional performance as Joyce Vincent, a woman whose remains were discovered three years after she was reported missing. Part dramatisation, part documentary, Dreams of a life is a film that never leaves you.
Drama2012151 minsDirector: Gregory Doran
Gregory’s Doran’s innovative Shakespeare interpretation transplants the action to post-independence Africa.
William Shakespeare moves to Africa with some of the UK's finest Black British talent, including Cyril Nri, Ray Fearon and Paterson Joseph.
Comedy201388 minsDirector: Destiny Ekaragha
Riotous urban comedy adapted from the hit Royal Court play, about a Peckham teen affronted by the arrival of his long-lost Nigerian sibling.
Set over one day in Peckham, Destiny Ekaragha’s debut feature sees Yemi (Malachi Kirby) try to face up to local bullies, win the girl of his dreams, reconnect with his brother… and deal with his embarrassing socks and sandals combo.
Documentary2015115 minsDirector: Menelik Shabazz
Leading filmmaker Menelik Shabazz (Burning an Illusion) explores intimacy and relationships within Britain’s black community.
This frank documentary from leading filmmaker Menelik Shabazz (Burning an Illusion) combines music and performance with intimate interviews exploring relationships within the UK’s Black British community.
Crime2016104 minsDirector: Noel Clarke
A decade after the release of Adulthood, Sam (Noel Clarke) is trying to keep his family safe while simmering old grudges threaten to resurface.
The third instalment in Noel Clarke's "hood" series, sees Sam settling into domestic life, but after his brother his shot, he's dragged back into his old world. Featuring a supporting role from grime superstar Stormzy, Brotherhood provides a satisfying close to a record breaking trilogy.
Drama2018107 minsDirector: Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje
A fostered Nigerian boy growing up in Essex loses all sense of identity and joins a racist skinhead gang. Actor Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje (Oz, Lost) directs this powerful drama based on his own, extraordinary upbringing.
Damson Idris is mesmerising as Enitian, a young Nigerian boy whose parents "farm" him to a white, working class family in 1960's East London. Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje writes and directs this semi autobiographical tale, which doesn’t pull its punches.
Drama2016111 minsDirector: Amma Asante
Amma Assante (Belle) directs this impassioned drama starring David Oyelowo and Rosamund Pike depicting an interracial romance that changed the world.
Amma Asante tells the story of Seretse Khama, King of Bechuanaland (David Oyelow), and the white, office worker (Rosamund Pike) he fell for in 1940's England. Based on a true story, this drama is a mediation on race in Britain.
Documentary2017115 minsDirector: Sophie Fiennes
Grace Jones is laid bare in this intimate and electrifying insight into the fascinating world of a pop-cultural phenomenon.
A rare personal insight into one of the most recognisable icons of the 21st century. Performances, storytelling and archived footage are brought together to paint a portrait of Grace Jones that we seldom see.
Crime2018102 minsDirector: Idris Elba
In his thrilling directorial debut, Idris Elba brings to life Victor Headley’s cult crime novel.
Idris Elba's directorial debut is an adaptation of Victor Headley's wildly popular novel. Aml Ameen shows his leading man qualities as D, a man who needs to choose between the way of the righteous or the damned.