This summer, Deptford Cinema is proud to host a retrospective of a pioneering figure of black British cinema: the internationally acclaimed director Menelik Shabazz.
Over the last weekend of August - Fri 24th to Sun 26th - we will screen 3 shorts and 3 features by Shabazz, most in their original 16mm format. With this retrospective we hope, in our own small way, to introduce his body of work to a wider public and reaffirm him as one of the most significant artists and activists in contemporary British film.
TIME AND JUDGEMENT is an effortlessly engaging and ambitious sci-fi/documentary that combines biblical prophecy with events across the African diaspora between 1980 and 1987 (set to an incredible soundtrack). Archive footage includes Haile Selassie, Bob Marley, Kwame Nkrumah, Maurice Bishop, Walter Rodney, Kwame Toure, Bernie Grant. Shown from the director's own 16mm print!
Other films in the series: BURNING AN ILLUSION, Three activist shorts, THE STORY OF LOVER'S ROCK
"I wanted to make a film that took a panoramic view of events happening within the pan African World during an eight year span. It was a film where I could be creatively free. I had a guaranteed TV slot on the newly formed Channel Four under Commissioner Alan Fountain. I wanted to add many layers to the film, and I was deep into my Rastafari phase and so I wanted to combine spirituality, symbolism, politics, poetry into a blender. Out came a film that even today I am not sure I fully understand, my own creation. After transmission on Channel Four the following day, a conservative MP made a statement in Parliament condemning the film. I wish I could remember his name. His statement got coverage in the Evening Standard which was where I found out. It was only after a decade had passed that I realised that my film was the most radical film about the black experience ever showed on British TV. Never to be repeated!"
— Menelik Sabazz
dir. Menelik Shabazz