Author Topic: Riz Ahmeds new film  (Read 2395 times)

Riz Ahmeds new film
« on: March 08, 2020, 04:52:41 PM »
Really well done and highly provocative.  Made me feel very uncomfortable for a variety of reasons. 

See what you guys and gals think.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lzz50xENH4g

Re: Riz Ahmeds new film
« Reply #1 on: March 08, 2020, 04:56:39 PM »
Quote
Jack
1 day ago
Stunning and brave.

First comment, put me off a bit.

Re: Riz Ahmeds new film
« Reply #2 on: March 08, 2020, 05:08:03 PM »
Yeah ignore that.  Give it a whirl.

I'm currently having a bit of chat about it with a friend as whilst it is brilliant, it rather works a stereotype in that why would people turn a blind eye and be ok with murder.  It's extreme but I suppose it has got to be to get noticed.  However how much of that "extremeness" is either indulging in paranoia or playing into right-wingers hands.

Zetetic

  • Burying isn't the same as killing.
Re: Riz Ahmeds new film
« Reply #3 on: March 08, 2020, 05:28:20 PM »
I'd echo TrenterPercenter that it deserves a watch, and its own criticism - though I'm not sure I'm up to that. (bgmnts, I think it's a bit of a shame to start the thread with that reply, to be honest.)

In the meantime, an intellectual escape: The reference to the Indian Partition, amongst other things, reminded me of this very brief article.

People who are British Pakistani, British Indian, British Polish, British ----- perhaps have better references for these sorts of things than the rest of us, through the stories that their parents and grandparents told them.

I know I've mentioned this before - my partner's father was born and grew up in a refugee camp in Britain. I know how Brexit made him feel. (Not helped by an unrelated assault on him and my partner, in their driveway, shortly after the vote).

It's hard to judge paranoia.

Re: Riz Ahmeds new film
« Reply #4 on: March 08, 2020, 05:33:43 PM »
I'd echo TrenterPercenter that it deserves a watch, and its own criticism - though I'm not sure I'm up to that. (bgmnts, I think it's a bit of a shame to start the thread with that reply, to be honest.)


The film was good
The comment put me off.
But the film was good.

Thomas

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Re: Riz Ahmeds new film
« Reply #5 on: March 08, 2020, 05:55:10 PM »
I watched this last night. I thought it was chilling. I'll be checking out his album.

I'm currently having a bit of chat about it with a friend as whilst it is brilliant, it rather works a stereotype in that why would people turn a blind eye and be ok with murder.  It's extreme but I suppose it has got to be to get noticed.  However how much of that "extremeness" is either indulging in paranoia or playing into right-wingers hands.

As to what it depicts, extreme or stereotyped, the description says it aims to 'expose the emotional reality for many people who feel they are not welcome in the country they call home.' Obviously, being as Ahmed's character rises and addresses the camera at the end, the whole thing can be viewed as metaphorical - it's putting across that 'emotional reality', and it does so with discomforting success. It's not necessarily saying that uniformed, fascist thugs are literally going to rampage with impunity, but it must feel like a realistic possibility considering the sheer apathy of those in charge (a scandal like Windrush should surely destroy a government, especially one with an out-and-out racist PM - but our fellow citizens just handed it a majority). A Singaporean man was recently beaten up on Oxford Street to the cry of 'we don't want your coronavirus in our country'. A 16-year-old boy named Ahmed Shamur was found dead in London this week 'after a group of 30 men were seen armed with baseball bats'.

We must also remember that persecution of the type in the film is within living memory in Europe. Dehumanisation only seems to require a few steps - and economic circumstances are ripe for exploitation.

Brexit, of course, wasn't a purely racist, nationalistic vote. But this film (and Riz's lyrics) made me reflect that the tone of Brexit's loudest, most powerful champions, the rule of this racist Conservative government, and the upsurge in reactionary politics among ordinary people, neighbours and colleagues, must make life incredibly uncertain and frightening for some minority communities in the UK. There are undeniable white supremacists in Britain, some of them in power. 'White supremacy' isn't a distant, historical thing. I'm sure we've all met and known white supremacists. But as Riz's lyrics so incisively capture, 'Britain' is not a white concept:

Quote
They'll ask you "Where you from?"
"Like where you really from?"
The question seems simple but the answer's kinda long
I could tell 'em Wembley but I don't think that's what they want
But I don't wanna tell 'em more cause anything I say is wrong
Britain's where I'm born and I love a cup of tea and that
But tea ain't from Britain; it's from where my DNA is at
And where my genes are from; that's where they make my jeans and that
Then send them over to NYC, that's where they stack the P's and that
Skinheads meant I never really liked the British flag
And I only got the shits when I went back to Pak
And my ancestors' Indian but India was not for us
My people built the West, we even gave the skinheads swastikas
Now everybody everywhere want their country back
If you want me back to where I'm from then bruv I need a map
Or if everyone just gets their shit back then that's bless for us
You only built a piece of this place bruv, the rest was us

Zetetic

  • Burying isn't the same as killing.
Re: Riz Ahmeds new film
« Reply #6 on: March 08, 2020, 05:59:31 PM »
We must also remember that persecution of the type in the film is within living memory in Europe.
And India, Pakistan and Bangladesh, for example, in the aftermath of British decisions (to put it lightly), as Ahmed references.

weekender

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Re: Riz Ahmeds new film
« Reply #7 on: March 08, 2020, 06:20:07 PM »
It's a very interesting piece of art, and questions so many things about life, family, culture, Brexit, history that I genuinely wouldn't know where to start with it all.

I don't particularly like the music as music, but I admire the fact that it's obviously come from the heart and just basically challenges things, or at least references them.

Also it has probably been posted to the wrong forum.
« Last Edit: March 08, 2020, 06:33:20 PM by weekender »

Johnny Yesno

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Re: Riz Ahmeds new film
« Reply #8 on: March 08, 2020, 06:20:15 PM »
Blimey! I was not expecting that. Excellent stuff.

weekender

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Re: Riz Ahmeds new film
« Reply #9 on: March 08, 2020, 06:35:11 PM »
Brexit, of course, wasn't a purely racist, nationalistic vote.

Citation needed.

Dex Sawash

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Re: Riz Ahmeds new film
« Reply #10 on: March 08, 2020, 06:43:10 PM »

Also it has probably been posted to the wrong forum.

RIZ Deeper into movies


Dewt

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Re: Riz Ahmeds new film
« Reply #11 on: March 08, 2020, 07:18:24 PM »
I thought it was really good, especially for those of us who don't live with any looming nationalist threat.

Re: Riz Ahmeds new film
« Reply #12 on: March 09, 2020, 08:44:08 AM »
I watched this last night. I thought it was chilling. I'll be checking out his album.

As to what it depicts, extreme or stereotyped, the description says it aims to 'expose the emotional reality for many people who feel they are not welcome in the country they call home.' Obviously, being as Ahmed's character rises and addresses the camera at the end, the whole thing can be viewed as metaphorical - it's putting across that 'emotional reality', and it does so with discomforting success.

Agree with all of this but there is still room to discuss the consequence of depicting all of the white people as muderers or facilitators of murder (methaphorical or not).   Simply on a human level why would white people be comfortable with the abrupt murder of individuals on down their culdesac?  If you are identifying a group by their colour and giving them all a role then you have the consequence of creating or feeding into a narrative about this group.  That isn't criticism of the film, how else does he display what he wants to display.  This is about the day to day paranoia and fear of safety from white supermacey, but the consequence of this is to represent white people as kindof OK with it.

Of course, in the metaphorical sense you can say well look at the papers, Brexit etc... I've known lots of people that are angry at why white people are not more outraged about racism and the behaviour of the press.  The problem with this that lots of white people are yet this is ignored because even at the molecular level paranoia and fear are more powerful atagonists than people disproving the rule.  This paranoia I would say shares many of the same features as racist paranoia i.e. they all think like this, they are planning to get me, i need to defend myself and attack first if need be, better to be safer with people that look like me...

Most white people feel disempowered to change anything, racism, as you pointed out is systemic and operating at the highest level,"white people" haven't been able to manage a non-right wing government for 70 years let alone have a revolution based on civil liberties.  If you want to do that then you have to unite a lot of people to a common cause, race was just weapon made up in the 18th century to excuse the appropriate of land and create a moral basis for slavery, it was the later used to suppress working class solidarity and divide its power.

Again not a criticism of the film, an acceptable consequence of it and one that perhaps other films could address.

Urinal Cake

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Re: Riz Ahmeds new film
« Reply #13 on: March 09, 2020, 09:17:30 AM »
I don't particularly like the music as music, but I admire the fact that it's obviously come from the heart and just basically challenges things, or at least references them.
Pretty much. Musically I think Riz has done his best stuff as Swetshop Boys with Himanshu (the non-sexual-assaulty one from Das Racist) which is still 'conscious'
T5 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q4Yb8AWXgLI
Benny Lava https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gLlYykSUXLk which is a favourite
« Last Edit: March 09, 2020, 09:37:45 AM by Urinal Cake »

Zetetic

  • Burying isn't the same as killing.
Re: Riz Ahmeds new film
« Reply #14 on: March 09, 2020, 10:02:02 AM »
Quote
Most white people feel disempowered to change anything,
Sure. But that reinforces the lack of action. It doesn't change not doing anything.

Quote
why would white people be comfortable with the abrupt murder of individuals on down their culdesac?
I tried to remember the name of the bloke who was murdered on his estate under nonsensical accusations of paedophilia, but I couldn't bring myself to dig through the pages and pages that you find when you google "learning disabilities murder" to find the exact case I was thinking of.

(Inaction is not necessarily the rule here, but its common enough.)

Re: Riz Ahmeds new film
« Reply #15 on: March 09, 2020, 10:50:57 AM »
Sure. But that reinforces the lack of action. It doesn't change not doing anything.

You are presuming that not doing a "thing" means the only other possible option is "no thing".  If you are talking about behaviour change then vicarious behaviour change is based in the relational belief that change is achievable via it being able to be 'modelled' by on other peoples behaviour.  It is more effective when that model is relatable to the individual - and as a direct response to the exact reason to hate racism, that is racisms prescriptive; people who look like this belong this way and can achieve this much, vicarious modelling shows individuals that they can achieve change because they just like you have similarities.  Alongside this is the potential for behaviour change by shock yet these changes both create insecure changes and lose impact over time (this is partly the way bodies and brain cope with disturbing information and in extreme cases can remove memories of traumatic experiences altogether i.e. PTSD).  Eventually people stop looking at the cancer victim on the fag packet and stop donating to emaciated bodies on the TV because they 'learn' to cope with these shocking images.

In the context of this film IF the target audience is white people then, sure there is going to be some impact, me I felt uncomfortable and angry at the white people in the film - I also feel unrepresented by them.  That is coming from a different place for me (some one that can articulate well my inner thoughts and feelings and has a pretty good understanding of historical racism and it systematic use in societies) than someone that will just look and go "well i'm not summarily killing people in a culdesac therefore I am not a racist and these one dimensional white characters that are essentially psychopathic in their ability to standby whilst other humans are murders do not speak to me in my experience of being white (or otherwise known as humans, just another colour of skin).

I'll say again.  This isn't this films problem, it is film made to shock and it does it brilliantly, the rap is incredible and should speak to British people of all colours to ask the question where are they from, because you know despite being "white" they ain't really from the actual physical space of England or the dreamt up fantasy of what they think England is. 

It would be fascinating to swap the ethnicities of the groups round in this and see what the response was from different ethnicities watching.  It might be more effective for white people to identify and feel the paranoia that some ethnic minorities feel (especially SA men at the moment) in being summarily killed in the street, however I suspect that the ethnic minority would be appalled at their representation and that this actually encourage violence towards SAs and highlight the power principle of the history of white supremacist; but here is the thing yes there was state sanctioned genocide of people in the Europe in living memory but they also killed white people, that is because they are f**kers that don't care about life, only about their ideology and their whiteness is simply the peg to hang their movement on.  I was listening to some interesting stuff from John McWhorton which kindof raises the question (which shouldn't be taboo to discuss at least) that there is a problem in that there is a legitimacy (obviously) for ethnic minorities to not feel they have to apologise for the crimes of other people associated only by their ethnicity yet this does not extend fully to white people, our bad eggs due to a lot of complicated things are in someway seen as more representative of us (humans with white skin).  That doesn't count as any reverse racism bollox or mean racism doesn't exist it is just something we need to consider.  Whilst shock tactics is great currency for twitter and clicks it isn't the way things really change in communities on the ground, we need positive role models that encourage other people to emulate.  Not twee cup a tea methodist style middle class hippies, but real people, promoting the very real importance of unity and the revulsion of racism.  If we are going empower white people to take more responsibility for countering racism then there has to be more than just highlighting the extreme acts of a perveted group that is only associated by their whiteness with the rest of the population (now systemic and subtle racism is a different matter which wasn't covered in the film I'm afraid).

Indeed if I could make an actual criticism of the film it isn't very representative of how lots of ethnic minorities live, who often aren't in family units, living on leafy culdesacs, but in precarious poverty stricken areas living alongside other precarious poverty stricken people of different ethnicities.  It is a bit class tone deaf imo - yet again this was intentional because somehow killing middle class people for some reason is more shocking than killing working class people.

Quote
I tried to remember the name of the bloke who was murdered on his estate under nonsensical accusations of paedophilia, but I couldn't bring myself to dig through the pages and pages that you find when you google "learning disabilities murder" to find the exact case I was thinking of.

Horrendous story, I remember it.

Zetetic

  • Burying isn't the same as killing.
Re: Riz Ahmeds new film
« Reply #16 on: March 09, 2020, 05:35:46 PM »
It looks like there's more than few similar cases.

On "in Europe in living memory": about 25 years ago, at scale. (And that's not really over.)

Re: Riz Ahmeds new film
« Reply #17 on: March 09, 2020, 10:12:32 PM »
Seeing a live performance of this in a couple of weeks.

Sin Agog

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Re: Riz Ahmeds new film
« Reply #18 on: March 09, 2020, 10:31:58 PM »
Seeing a live performance of this in a couple of weeks.

Visiting Clacton?

Re: Riz Ahmeds new film
« Reply #19 on: March 09, 2020, 10:42:24 PM »
I don't understand the question and I won't respond to it.

Dewt

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Re: Riz Ahmeds new film
« Reply #20 on: March 09, 2020, 11:05:38 PM »
Clacton is where racists are from. Not me, I am from Beaumont-cum-Moze which is different because it's ten miles away.

Re: Riz Ahmeds new film
« Reply #21 on: March 10, 2020, 04:32:08 AM »
Sure. But that reinforces the lack of action. It doesn't change not doing anything.
I tried to remember the name of the bloke who was murdered on his estate under nonsensical accusations of paedophilia, but I couldn't bring myself to dig through the pages and pages that you find when you google "learning disabilities murder" to find the exact case I was thinking of.

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2013/nov/28/vigilante-lee-james-life-murdering-bijan-ebrahimi

This case?

Zetetic

  • Burying isn't the same as killing.
Re: Riz Ahmeds new film
« Reply #22 on: March 10, 2020, 08:40:12 AM »
That was the one I had in mind.

weekender

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Re: Riz Ahmeds new film
« Reply #23 on: March 10, 2020, 07:31:23 PM »
What if the character Riz Ahmed plays in this film is actually the Coronavirus?

Would that change our opinion?

Sorry, probably shouldn't bollock around in this thread.
« Last Edit: March 10, 2020, 07:43:51 PM by weekender »

weekender

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Re: Riz Ahmeds new film
« Reply #24 on: March 10, 2020, 07:41:34 PM »
Seeing a live performance of this in a couple of weeks.

If so, is he there in a Q&A capacity demoing/publicising his film, or is he in his music character, which is presumably different to his acting character, which is presumably different to his 'self' which is certainly being made apparent on this track.

I'm saying it again, I don't like the music particularly but the message to consider is really important.

Lost Oliver

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Re: Riz Ahmeds new film
« Reply #25 on: March 11, 2020, 11:47:17 AM »
What if the character Riz Ahmed plays in this film is actually the Coronavirus?

Would that change our opinion?

Sorry, probably shouldn't bollock around in this thread.

Made me lol.

Re: Riz Ahmeds new film
« Reply #26 on: March 17, 2020, 12:11:31 PM »
Seeing a live performance of this in a couple of weeks.

Unsurprisingly I am not, now, seeing a live performance of this in a couple of weeks.

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