Hard Stop, The

Dir: George Amponsah

United Kingdom (UK)

2015

86 mins

15

On 4th August 2011: the Metropolitan Police carried out a ‘hard stop’ – halting a vehicle travelling at speed – on a taxi carrying one passenger, 29-year-old Mark Duggan, suspected of carrying a weapon. As Duggan stepped out an armed police officer shot twice, killing Duggan and igniting a series of events that led to the most incendiary riots in recent memory.

George Amponsah’s fascinating and humanising documentary follows two childhood friends of Duggan, Marcus Knox-Hooke and Kurtis Henville, and offers insights into a community of inherited deprivation, wracked with drug and gang-related violence. Amponsah’s film intimately explores a section of society largely unrepresented by the mainstream media, capturing its visceral antipathy against a system of perennial injustice and alienation.

Finding its focus through Henville and Knox-Hooke’s redemptive efforts since Duggan’s death, The Hard Stop is a timely and vital investigation beyond the headlines.

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