The Personal and Political Awakenings of New Black Activists Converge in ‘Generation Revolution’ – The Caribbean Film Series, February 22nd at BAMcinématek
Black and brown youth in Britain fighting for racial, social, and economic justice, inspired by the USA’s #BlackLivesMatter movement, explore the messy world of activism in Cassie Quarless and Usayd Younis’ gripping documentary.
Q&A panel with the directors and special guests from activist community will follow the film.
January 18, 2017/Brooklyn, NY – If you asked older generations, just a few years ago whether young people, millennials if you will, had any fighting spirit beyond watching actual fights on their mobile devices, a resounding “No” would have thudded across the room. However, with the escalation of police violence against Black and Brown people now pervading those same cell phone screens on a regular basis, in particular the killings of Mike Brown and Eric Garner, at the hands of United States police, brand new groups of international activists, tired of generational mistreatment, stand ready to take action.
Directors Cassie Quarless and Usayd Younis, possessing affinities with the subjects in their film, decided to show the exciting work young black and brown activists are doing in London, giving birth to their new feature-length documentary, “Generation Revolution.”
The film follows the political and personal awakenings, breakthroughs and unfortunate disillusionment of a number of key activists. Among them are Tay, an 18 year old South Londoner, whose strong convictions and quick wit make him a magnet for friends and activists alike; and Arnie, 22, a firebrand whose fervor for the movement has allowed him to undertake some truly inspirational actions, but has also put him at odds with friends and allies. Then there is Tej, 25, a middle-class North Londoner whose conscience has thrown her from the sidelines into the deep end of political activism. We follow her as she struggles to reconcile her skepticism toward more controversial actions, with her belief in the need for radical change.
Through the raucous and dramatic London Black Revolutionaries (Black Revs), the even younger social media formed R Movement, and The Black Dissidents, who formed out of irreconcilable differences with the Black Revs, we see the evolution of “Generation Revolution,” which portrays the messy and totally uncensored explorations of race, class, and gender, following these young activists on their difficult paths toward creating social change.
To some, “Generation Revolution,” may be very controversial, which is just fine with the directors. “We want this film to spark debate,” say Quarless and Younis, “but also to inspire young people to take an interest in how they can go about changing their communities and the wider world.” They continue, “…we were inspired to follow these young black and brown activists because we felt that their novel approach in tackling large systemic issues such as white supremacy, capitalism or patriarchy was fresh and exciting. We don’t sugarcoat the experiences…”
Romola Lucas, co-founder of the Caribbean Film Academy (CaFA), which presents the Caribbean Film Series, shares, “It is important for us to bring this film, which highlights the generational struggles in parts of the worldwide black activist community, with New York City audiences, because of the large number of Caribbean people who reside here and as a way of sharing and exploring with them, the work of Caribbean activists, both in the Region, and Diaspora, which often goes unseen.
The feature presentation, will be preceded by a screening of the short film, My Vote, directed by Jamaican filmmaker, Joel Burke, and produced by the New Caribbean Cinema, film collective. The film, which is a take on the violence characteristic of Jamaican politics, tells the story of what happens to Akeem, when he is found by a mob, at the scene of a local politician’s murder.
Co-presented by BAMcinématek and the Brooklyn Cinema Collective, “Generation Revolution,” will screen at BAM Rose Cinemas on Wednesday, February 22 at 7:30pm.
For more information go to https://www.bam.org/film/2017/generation-revolution. For overall information about the Caribbean Film Series and the Caribbean Film Academy, contact Romola Lucas, at firstname.lastname@example.org or the Brooklyn Cinema Collective’s, Curtis Caesar John, at email@example.com.
United Kingdom | 2016
Directed by Cassie Quarless & Usayd Younis
Generation Revolution” brings to screen the urgent story of a new generation of black and brown activists, heavily of Caribbean and African descent, who are changing the social and political landscape in a discriminatory Great Britain. The film follows an exciting new breed of organizations – The London Black Revolutionaries, R Movement, and the Black Dissidents – as well as the young Londoners that are part of them, as they experience personal and political awakenings, breakthroughs and, at times, disillusionment.
A local MP is found murdered. Akeem is on the run and a mob from his very own community wants to show him how they feel.
About the Caribbean Film Academy
Established in 2012, The Caribbean Film Academy (CaFA), is a non-profit organization dedicated to the promotion and support of Caribbean filmmaking and filmmakers, in the region and the diaspora. CaFA’s work is focused on promoting and sharing the art of storytelling through film from the unique perspective of the Caribbean.
About The Brooklyn Cinema Collective
The Brooklyn Cinema Collective (BKCC) is a media consulting and advocacy non-profit company helmed by Curtis Caesar John, a media-maker and arts manager operating out of New York City. A longtime film programmer, Curtis served as Festival Director of New Voices in Black Cinema, a film festival he helped create, that takes place at BAMcinématek and brought audiences the NYC premieres of such films as Neil Drumming’s Big Words and Alain Gomis’ Tey, among many other worthwhile and breakthrough films.
The four-screen BAM Rose Cinemas (BRC) opened in 1998 to offer Brooklyn audiences alternative and independent films that might not play in the borough otherwise, making BAM the only performing arts center in the country with two mainstage theaters and a multiplex cinema. In July 1999, beginning with a series celebrating the work of Spike Lee, BAMcinématek was born as Brooklyn’s only daily, year-round repertory film program. BAMcinématek presents new and rarely seen contemporary films, classics, work by local artists, and festivals of films from around the world, often with special appearances by directors, actors, and other guests. BAMcinématek has not only presented major retrospectives by major filmmakers such as Michelangelo Antonioni, Manoel de Oliveira, Shohei Imamura, Vincente Minnelli (winning a National Film Critics’ Circle Award prize for the retrospective), Kaneto Shindo, Luchino Visconti, and William Friedkin, but it has also introduced New York audiences to contemporary artists such as Pedro Costa and Apichatpong Weerasethakul. In addition, BAMcinématek programmed the first US retrospectives of directors Arnaud Desplechin, Nicolas Winding Refn, Hong Sang-soo, and Andrzej Zulawski.
BAM Rose Cinemas is located in the Peter Jay Sharp building at (between St Felix Street and Ashland Place).
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