Far-right racists were coming to power in Britain in the 1970s. When Clapton blurted out racist ideology, and punks seemed like they could go in a bad direction, a bunch of ordinary folks who gave a damn worked up an anti-racist punk zine, organized a network of multi-racial concerts, and functioned as the heart of a broad anti-racist movement.
This is a feel-good documentary, with stressful bits about the UK far right racists. It features performances from X-Ray Spex and the Clash!
Rock Against Racism was formed in 1976, prompted by Eric Clapton. It blends fresh interviews with archive footage to recreate a hostile environment of anti-immigrant hysteria and National Front marches.
There is always fussing within the arts community about artists contributing to mass movements, and whether or not it is effective to make art for a cause, and… it can work very well. Being a part of the solution doesn’t mean you and your group have to solve everything – movements aren’t all-or-nothing. Just being part of the solution moves things in a better direction.
I enjoyed this film, which… is still too topical, really. It is great to see examples of youth organizing of the past against all the usual villains.