Fruitvale Film Club – Sunday 24th April – Burning An Illusion


The London Campaign Against Police and State Violence put on a monthly free film screening at “The Field” in New Cross, to provide a space where it is possible to enjoy an interesting movie but also to share and discuss experiences of violence, objectification, oppression and harassment. This could include intrusions such as constant stop and search, or physical violence, or the everyday stress of being made to feel you somehow have to account for yourself and your experiences of racism. We’re now back from our Easter break and we’ve planned a great line-up of Black British films for the spring and summer months.

We kick off this new run with Menelik Shabazz’s classic 1981 film Burning an Illusion. Burning an Illusion is about a young British-born Black woman’s love life, mostly shot in London’s Notting Hill and Ladbroke Grove communities. It was only the second British feature to have been made by a black director, following Horace Ové’s 1975 Pressure, and is described by Stephen Bourne as “the first British film to give a black woman a voice of any kind.” Burning an Illusion is notable for breaking the tradition of placing white males at the centre of the story. It is also unique in prioritizing the personal drama of a black woman over the socio-economic and political conflicts traditionally associated with such films. As Ade Solanke writes: “Like all drama, the film is about characters facing conflicts. But unlike most dramas about black people up till then, for most of the story it dramatises personal conflicts, not socio-economic or political ones.” (from Wikipedia) We’ll follow Burning an Illusion with Shabazz’s short film ‘Blood Ah Goh Run’, which documents the impact of the New Cross massacre in 1981.

Fruitvale Film Club takes place at “The Field” in New Cross on the last Sunday of every month at 3pm and will last a few hours. We’ve shown a diverse range of films so far (Fruitvale Station, Pressure, Candyman, Poetic Justice and the anti-psychiatric abuse documentary Whose Mind is it Anyway – John’s Story). Anyone is welcome at our events and anyone is welcome to suggest future films for us to show and discuss.

You can find the Facebook event page here: