Film: Anti-Nazi Music Documentary ‘White Riot’

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!

Roxie Virtual Cinema: White Riot

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.

Film: John Lewis: Good Trouble

I just watched the great documentary about civil rights icon John Lewis, and half of my ticket goes to my local movie theater, The Roxie.

It is remarkable to know how much work and self-sacrifice effective mass movements require, and how deeply impressive it is that heroes and heroines dedicate so much of their lives so directly to making things better for all of us.

John Lewis: Good Trouble | John Lewis: Good Trouble – Virtual Cinema

Using interviews and rare archival footage, JOHN LEWIS: GOOD TROUBLE chronicles Lewis’ 60-plus years of social activism and legislative action on civil rights, voting rights, gun control, health-care reform and immigration.

Also: MASS MOVEMENTS WORK.