It is a shameful fact that racism is still prevalent in our society, and around the globe. While the world may have changed a lot since the days of slavery and segregation, there is still much to be done - by all of us - to level the playing field and help Black people and others of colour reach a position where they can live their lives without being subjected to racism, either overt or subtle; personal or systemic. This is why Into Film supports the Black Lives Matter movement.
Stories told on film can be an excellent means of broaching the difficult topic of racism with young people, acting as a means to highlight what racist behaviour looks like and stimulating discussion about its devastating effects. They can also be a superb way to explore the history of the civil rights movement and the long fight against racism and inequality, as well as providing context for the contemporary issues that young people will inevitably be navigating today via the news and on social media. Equally importantly, film can be a terrific way of showcasing and celebrating the many positive achievements of Black people throughout history, which are often overlooked.
We recognise that Black voices in the film industry are vital, and that many still face a struggle for their voices to be heard. At Into Film, we endeavour to champion Black filmmakers and voices from all backgrounds. Only through a diversity of voices and filmmakers can we create a cinematic landscape that is representative and open to all.
Our resources explore the issue of racism and anti-Blackness in a way that touches on curriculum subjects including English, History, Media Studies, PSHE, and more. Our mental wellbeing resources, meanwhile, may be a help to young Black people in coping with a world in which exposure to matters around anti-Black racism is sometimes difficult to avoid.
Using these films and resources in Into Film Clubs or in the classroom can help young people get a better grasp of one of the major issues of the modern world and put them in a stronger position to do their part in challenging racist behaviour should they encounter it.
Into Film CEO Paul Reeve - "Stories told on film can enable us to walk in other people's shoes and see things through their eyes, helping us to better understand both the world around us and ourselves. Film can therefore play a dynamic role in supporting teachers and young people to address and explore the issue of racism, which is more vital to do today than it's ever been. Into Film is looking to play a small part in facilitating this through the resources we provide and film titles we're highlighting."
Filmmaker and Into Film Ambassador Cornelius Walker - "For too long racist systems have dominated and been unjust to Black people. The deaths of innocent Black men, women and children sit heavy on all our hearts and we cannot continue to let this happen in today's society. Over 400 years of slavery and yet, in 2020, Black people are still feeling the pain and effects of slavery; the torture of struggling to feel human. Right now Black lives matter because Black lives are presently being attacked and abused - killed by systems and organisations that were put in place to serve and protect.
Whatever you can do to help is important right now, we must all end this collectively, the change will not be made in silence. Racial injustice has to be solved collectively through unity and love."
Please note that many of the films below are most suitable for an audience of older young people, dealing as they do with difficult issues, and often presented in ways that don't blanch from the ghastly realities of racism. While all the films highlighted are vital and appropriate for our audience, some do contain upsetting subject matter, so please be mindful of the emotions that such images can potentially trigger in young audiences.
A further note to all educators - Into Film have made the decision to capitalise the B when making any reference to Black people and groups, as will be done with other ethnic group categorisations. This important mark of acknowledgment and respect has been embraced by several high-profile sites and style guides over the last few years.