This week sees the start of a season of films at Phoenix celebrating Black History Month in Leicester, organised by arts organisation Serendipity.
The festival’s theme this year is Policy, Practice and Social Justice, and celebrates three significant anniversaries: the 85th birthday of Archbishop Desmond Tutu; the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Black Panthers party; and the 40th anniversary of The Arts Britain Ignores by Naseem Khan.
We’ll be showing four films inspired by festival themes at 7.30pm each Wednesday in October, including The Price of Memory – a documentary film about the Queen’s golden jubilee visit to Jamaica in 2012 when she was petitioned for slavery reparations. The documentary – screening on 5 October – follows the reparations lawsuit, the legacies of slavery and the attempts by a group of Rastafari to return to the homeland of their African ancestors.
The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution marks the 50th anniversary of the party’s founding and examines its rise and fall, and its campaign for justice and equality in the face of racism and police brutality.
Forward Ever: The Killing of a Revolution looks at the invasion of Grenada by US forces in 1983 and the murder of the prime minister Maurice Bishop and its legacy in the Caribbean islands.
Baddddd Sonia Sanchez documents the life of the poet, playwright, teacher and activist who was a seminal figure in the 1960s black arts movement and has been credited as one of the major influences on Rap. The film follows her life, with readings and jazz accompanied performances.
Also happening during the month are a celebration of the Leicester Windrush Project on Thu 20 October, film Hard Time Bus on Sat 15 Oct followed by a Q&A with the director and producer, and When We Were Kings, the award-winning documentary being shown on 25 Oct in memory of Muhammad Ali.
Film at Phoenix is just part of the story of Black History Month. There are concerts, comedy, spoken word and music events, workshops and discussion forums to discuss issues which directly affect black and minority communities.
This a festival with something for everyone interested in the arts in Leicester. Find out more at visitleicester.info/blackhistorymonth or from organisers Serendipity.