Fighting the Power: Britain After George Floyd: A sympathetic, informative documentary
Helen Archer | On 22, Jul 2020
This sympathetic and informative documentary takes us behind the scenes of the UK’s Black Lives Matter protests which took place over the course of the summer, following the death of George Floyd at the hands of the police in Minneapolis in May. It speaks to the relevance of the movement on this side of the pond, concisely demonstrating that although police here aren’t generally armed with guns in the same way they are in Amercia, Black people still suffer disproportionally at the hands of the law.
Reporter Daniel Henry highlights the percentage of BAME people who have been impacted by stop and search policies, and the use of tasers by police, and points to the rate at which they make up the prison and youth offender population, those fined under lockdown, youth unemployment, and school exclusion, invoking a system set up to fail young Black people. He meets some of those who have suffered from police use of force, including an interview with Wretch 32’s 62-year-old father Millard Scott, who was tasered in his own home during a police raid. Scott speaks to the animosity and distrust that builds each time a Black or brown person is targeted by law enforcement.
Henry is also on the ground to film the protests, including the right-wing involvement as they come out to “defend” various statues, and some of the chaos and violence which ensued. He speaks to eloquent antiracist activists and organisers, and gives police and politicians a right to reply – though their words ring hollow against a backdrop of the injustices shown here.
The words of the #BLM organisers are what stick with you after this intelligent documentary ends. They are focussed in their goals, which include police divestment and community investment. Their hope is that this movement doesn’t die out as the camera turns away and initial enthusiasm wanes, and their impressive yet accessible demands, as evidenced here, should be an enduring inspiration for us all.
Fighting the Power: Britain after George Floyd is available on BBC iPlayer until June 2022
This short review was originally published as part of a fortnightly BBC Three reviews column.