Author: Kaya Volke


Reel Off Film Nights is BACK!!


                FIND THE PODCAST OF THE NIGHT here– the introduction starts at 0:32


We’ll be screening ‘District 9’, directed by Neil Blomkamp presented by Lawrence Muntiago Gee, one of our regulars at Reel Off.

To mark the 20th anniversary of the “end of apartheid” and due to his growing interest in Sci-Fi and his belief that the genre has the ability to act as a normative force in society, Lawrence has chosen Disctrict 9. District 9 attempts to resell the story of apartheid by using the outsider narrative, but how well does it handle one of the most important events in the 20th century? Some critics have labeled it as a reductionist take on a very complex issue that affects black Africans. Is this a fair criticism? Do we hold science fiction to the same standard of scrutiny that we place on the rest of Hollywood? The discussion after the film promises to be a very interesting one.


The entrance is free, donations (for snacks) are welcome!

6.00: Door is open
6.30: Presentation by Lawrence
6.45: Screening of District 9 by Neil Blomkamp
8.40: Discussion


Goldsmiths University of London

Room RHB 137

Lewisham Way

New Cross

London SE14 6NW


Please bring food and non-alcoholic drinks. We’ll provide tea and small snacks.



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


On this Reel Off Film Night we will be screening ‘Triumph off the Will’, the seminal propaganda film of the Nazi era, directed by Leni Riefenstahl. The film chronicles the Nazi Party Congress of 1934 and is still considered a masterpiece. It continues to influence a number of prominent directors.

This film night will be hosted by Abu Salahudeen, who studied Media at the University of Luton and was the Co-Founder and Director of Halaqah Media and Blackrunner Media. He is currently writing a book about Islam, politics and rights of people. His interest in ‘Triumph of the Will’ stemmed from the realization that many of the techniques used by the Nazis have been adopted in modern politics with devastating results.

6.30pm: Door is open (it is also fine to come earlier)
7pm: Introduction by Abu Salahudeen
7.30pm: Screening of Triumph of the Will by Leni Riefenstahl
9.30pm: Discussion


 24 October 2013: Battle of Algiers

On this film night, we will be screening one of the most influential political films of history, Battle of Algiers. Shot in documentary style, director Gillo Pontecorvo recreates a key year in the Algerian struggle for independence from the occupying French in the 1950s. This iconic film stars Brahim Hadjadj, Jean Martin, Yacef Saadi, Samia Kerbash, Ugo Paletti and Fusia El Kader.

Sukant Chandan, political analyst and founder of the blog Sons of Malcolm and Hafsa Kara, Algerian patriot and conflict and political analyst will introduce Battle of Algiers and elaborate on how the film has influenced their political activism. The film will be followed by a discussion.

6.30pm:   Door is open (it is also fine to come earlier)
7pm:          Introduction by Sukant Chandan and Hafsa Kara
7.30pm:   Screening of Battle of Algiers by Gillo Pontecorvo
9.30pm:   Discussion

Location: London

If you’d like to join this discussion, please contact us for an invitation.


Interested in a conference on blackface practices in Europe, take the survey


10 October 2013: Bamboozled

On our very first film night, we will be screening Bamboozled. Written and directed by Spike Lee, the film depicts a frustrated African American TV writer who proposes a blackface minstrel show in protest, which to his shock, becomes a hit. This underground sleeper in the Lee pantheon stars Damon Wayans, Tommy Davidson, Jada Pinkett-Smith, Michael Rapaport and Savion Glover. Media and cultural critic Mez will introduce Reel Off Film Nights with a brief introduction into the history of film studies, the various schools of thought in film theory and how Bamboozled inspired him to think more deeply about film. The film will be followed by a discussion.

6.30pm:    Door is open (it is also fine to come earlier)
7pm:            Introduction by media and cultural critic Mez
7.15pm:      Screening of Bamboozled by Spike Lee
9.45pm:      Discussion

Location: London


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1850      Zwarte Piet is introduced as Sinterklaas’ servant in a children’s book by schoolteacher Jan Schenkman 1865     The Dutch government abolishes slavery 1934     The first official Sinterklaas arrival by boat includes 6 black Surinamese sailors playing Zwarte Piet 1957     In…


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