The Passion of Remembrance (in-person & online)

Dir: Maureen Blackwood, Isaac Julien



83 mins


Anni Domingo, Joseph Charles, Antonia Thomas, Carlton Chance, Jim Findley, Ram John Holder

One of the key films of the Black Film Workshop movement, The Passion of Remembrance (1986) has – like many films from these seminal, radical, inspirational collectives – been hard to see. Produced by the Sankofa Collective and co-directed by Maureen Blackwood (Perfect Image?) and Isaac Julien (Looking for Langston, Young Soul Rebels), it sets a story of black family life against a stunning collage of documentary, political and abstract storytelling.  

While the methodology of the workshops arose from a specific historical moment, its results have much to teach us about ways we can expand how narratives on film are shaped. Rejecting the white gaze’s insistence on being ‘representative’, The Passion of Remembrance is a unique film that celebrates a multiplicity of ways of being, as well as resisting easy generic categorisation. No less than bell hooks praised the film for the way its protagonists “challenge old norms and want to replace them with new understandings of the complexity of black identity, and the need for liberation struggles that address that complexity.” In hooks’ words, The Passion of Remembrance “invites the audience to look differently,” as true now as on its release in 1986. 

We are delighted that the in-person screening of The Passion of Remembrance will be introduced by the film’s producer Martina Attille, presenting the BFI National Archive’s new 4K remastering, undertaken with the directors and cinematographer Nina Kellgren from the original 16mm negative and magnetic soundtrack. 

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