Handsworth Songs (1988) by John Akomfrah

Sunday, October 2, 1988, 8:00 pm

The Radical Black Cinema

Films of Sankofa & Black Audio Film Collective


800 Chestnut Street

San Francisco, CA, 94133

Sankofa and Black Audio are two black film workshops established in the wake of social unrest that swept Britain in the early 1980s. The workshops have no equivalent in the U.S.—members have control over production and distribution, and participate in public forums. Tonight’s programs present one film from each group, both densely layered with sounds and images, rooted in the black experience. Sankofa’s Dreaming Rivers (1988, directed by Martina Atille) is an evocation of a dying Afro-Caribbean woman’s reflections on her migration to England. Black Audio’s Handsworth Songs (1986, directed by John Akomfrah) is an impressionistic view of the 1985 Handsworth riots, juxtaposing the dreams of the West Indian immigrants with the hostility of the “native” British and mainstream media.