Black and Banned: The Films You Weren’t Allowed to See will offer audiences a vital insight into the wide range of films, TV documentaries and dramas by and about the African diaspora that were subject to censorship of some form.

The programme, running from Saturday 1 September – Tuesday 9 October, is part of BFI Southbank’s ongoing African Odysseys series and follows on from the BFI’s major 2016 season Black Star, which sought to champion work by black actors.

Titles being screened will include Raoul Peck’s Lumumba (2000), which was censored for revealing details about CIA complicity, Ken Loach’s banned documentary Save the Children Fund Film (1971) which was filmed in the UK, Kenya and Uganda to mark the 50th anniversary of the charity, and The Spook Who Sat by the Door (Ivan Dixon, 1973), the story of a ‘token black’ CIA recruit which was effectively buried by the FBI, who seized and destroyed all but one film print.

The season also coincides with the 50th anniversary of the iconic moment that American athletes Tommie Smith and John Carlos stood on the podium at the 1968 Olympic Games in Mexico and each held up black-gloved salute in a silent protest for civil rights. To mark the anniversary of an event that reshaped public perception of equality across the world, BFI Southbank will welcome Tommie Smith to take part in a Q&A on Tuesday 9 October following a screening of the BBC documentary Black Power Salute (BBC, 2008).

The works screening in Black and Banned offer unique perspectives and intrinsic artistic worth, yet were denied wider exposure for allegedly subversive content: their ideas, politics, themes or storylines were deemed incompatible with the values of the day. Such censorship is occasionally imposed by governments, but more often than not it’s covertly assumed within the film industry, and even within the social, critical and academic community; this season is an opportunity for audiences to see the uncensored material for themselves so they can make up their own mind.

Other special events during the season will include a season introduction from programmer David Somerset and Voice4Change’s Kunle Olulode on Tuesday 4 September, a screening of acclaimed documentary Winnie (2017) about the former first lady of South Africa, followed by a Q&A with its director Pascale Lamche, and a screening of the rarely shown Two Gentlemen Sharing (Ted Kotcheff, 1969), which follows an ambitious young Jamaican in swinging London who battles everyday racism as he tries to enter the hallowed portals of British business. The film, which was given an X certificate and never released in the UK, will be screened on Saturday 1 September followed by a Q&A with actor Esther Anderson, plus director Ted Kotcheff and actor Judy Geeson via Skype.

Other titles screening will include Home Again (Sudz Sutherland, 2012), Goodbye Uncle Tom (Gualtiero Jacopetti, Franco Prosperi, 1971), Camp de Thiaroye (Ousmane Sembene, 1987), Come Back, Africa (Lionel Rogosin, 1959), Right On! (Herbert Danska, 1970) Ava & Gabriel: A Love Story (Felix de Rooy, 1990), Fable (1965, BBC) and Half of a Yellow Sun (Biyi Bandele, 2013).

The British Blacklist is offering two tickets for the price of one when you book your tickets.

Please use the code BANNED241 when booking online, in person or over the phone.

  • Black and Banned: Season Introduction – Tuesday 04 September 2018 18:20 NFT3
  • Chameleon Street + intro by Kunle Olulode, director of Voice4Change – Tuesday 04 September 2018 20:35 NFT3
  • Free Speech ‘Punch Up’! – Thursday 06 September 2018 19:00 Blue Room
  • Save the Children Fund Film + discussion – Monday 10 September 2018 18:10 NFT1
  • The Spook Who Sat by the Door – Monday 10 September 2018 20:05 NFT2
  • Chameleon Street – Friday 14 September 2018 18:20 NFT2
  • Black, British, Banned! – Saturday 15 September 2018 13:00 NFT1
  • Home Again + Q&A with Kunle Olulode and Patrick Vernon – Sunday 16 September 2018 17:15 NFT3
  • Seniors’ free matinee: Half of a Yellow Sun + intro by Ade Solanke + Q&A – Monday 17 September 2018 14:00 NFT1

General Admission

  • Fable + intro by season programmer David Somerset – Saturday 22 September 2018 16:00 NFT3
  • Body Contact + extended intro by David Somerset plus guests – Saturday 29 September 2018 15:00 NFT3
  • The Spook Who Sat by the Door + intro by Tony Warner – Saturday 29 September 2018 19:30 NFT3
  • Black Power Salute + Tommie Smith in conversation with Kunle Olulode – Tuesday 09 October 2018 20:30 NFT1
  • Two Gentlemen Sharing + Q&A with cast and crew – Saturday 01 September 2018 14:00 NFT1
  • Right On! – Tuesday 18 September 2018 20:30 NFT3
  • Goodbye Uncle Tom + intro by Tony Warner, founder of Black History Walks – Friday 21 September 2018 18:00 NFT3
  • Two Gentlemen Sharing – Sunday 23 September 2018 17:20 NFT3
  • Goodbye Uncle Tom – Wednesday 26 September 2018 20:20 NFT3
  • Right On! – Friday 28 September 2018 18:05 NFT2
  • Winnie + Q&A by director Pascale Lamche – Tuesday 09 October 2018 18:10 NFT2
  • Camp de Thiaroye – Thursday 06 September 2018 17:45 NFT3
  • Camp de Thiaroye + intro by Tony Warner, Black History Walks – Sunday 09 September 2018 15:15 NFT3
  • Lumumba + intro by Tony Warner, founder of Black History Walks – Saturday 15 September 2018 20:30 NFT3
  • Come Back, Africa – Monday 17 September 2018 20:40 NFT2
  • Ava & Gabriel: A Love Story + intro by Gaylene Gould, BFI Head of Cinemas and Events – Tuesday 25 September 2018 18:10 NFT3
  • Lumumba – Monday 01 October 2018 18:00 NFT3
  • Ava & Gabriel: A Love Story – Wednesday 03 October 2018 20:40

Book your tickets here and use the code BANNED241 when booking online, in person or over the phone – find out more and book here.