Month: November 2013


The fourth Reel Off Film Night will be a screening of ‘ The Brother From Another Planet’, directed by John Sayles. The film will be presented by Dr Syed Mustafa Ali:

I have chosen to present The Brother From Another Planet for a number of reasons: It is the only film I am aware of in which an alien visitor (who crash lands on Earth) is depicted as a black man. I think this is significant because to the extent that black people – and non-whites in general – are ‘The Other’ / ‘The Alien’, the casting of a black man (Joe Norton) points to a ‘dual-layering’ of ‘Alienation’. Also, as Ziauddin Sardar and Sean Cubbitt point out in Aliens R Us, there is a long tradition of representing ‘The Other’ through the figure of ‘The Alien’. I’m also intrigued by the fact that the black alien is a RAS (Run Away Slave) being hunted by two white slave masters and that he crash lands in Harlem. I don’t want to say much more than that I think this is an interesting film, and hopefully one that will provoke discussion about the messages embedded within it.

Dr Syed Mustafa Ali is a lecturer in the Computing Department of The Open University (UK) whose academic research focuses on investigating issues at the intersection of critical race theory / decolonial studies and computing / ICT.

Mustafa describes himself as someone who watches far too many films than is probably healthy, and that he has a particular penchant for sci-fi film, both mainstream and more obscure. (In particular, he is somewhat obsessed with time travel movies, especially those involving paradoxes).

6.15pm: Door is open (it is also fine to come earlier)
7.00 pm: Introduction Syed Mustafa Ali
7.30pm: Screening of The Brother From Another Planet’ by John Sayles
9.30pm: Discussion