Very Late Wrap Up, I know! It’s been that kind of week. That kind of year even
If you look back a bit, you will notice the last time I posted a wrap up was November of last year! Aiming to do these more regularly to share a brief overview of books and a film for the month. Maybe it will help you pick one of each!
Here’s what Ive been reading this month:
Terraformed – Part ethnography, part essay, the book is a series of interesting, heart felt essays focusing on Forest Gate in Newham, East London. It’s history, present, gentrification and devastating impacts on young Black residents. A balance of academic and personal, White assesses music, legislation, community and the built environment. I haven’t read anything so specific about an area in London before, very relevant in this time frame. My thoughts and review here
Friday Black – Brilliant! Adjei has an amazing imagination. Dystopian short stories making commentaries on race, class, death and consumerism. A surreal you could believe in without too much effort. An alternative, heightened version of the reality we live in now. Read it! Click for review
Love In Colour – Imagine having a debut this good! Bolu Babalola beautifully re-worked African and Greek myths to create warm, enchanting stories about love. Faraway, past kingdoms felt hopeful and within reach. The more modern tales had hints of pop culture and romcoms that made them entertaining and relatable. Favourite Twitter-er is extremely talented. Tough call but this was my favourite book this month, love how happy it made me. Review coming soon!
Just realised All my fiction reads in September were short stories! It worked for me
Included a profile on POSTSCRIPT this month. A bi-annual UK publication with a focus on critical thinking for Black and Brown women of the diasporas. One I thoroughly enjoy. They are running a kickstarter at the moment for their next issue
Les Miserables 2019
Extremely brave of talented French director Ladj Ly to name this exciting drama after Victor Hugo’s classic. But he pulled it off! You can see the parallels. Les Miserables 2019 was electric and moving to watch. Based around the banlieues of Paris, the film follows a newly assigned policeman as he learns the ropes from two seasoned (very corrupt) team members. Through his eyes, we quickly learn about the explosive tensions between law enforcers and the displaced young Black inhabitants of Paris.
Police brutality and misuse of power- it’s not new but juxtaposed with youthful follies (stealing a lion cub!) and immigrant community perspectives, an intense, passionate original photo is formed. I got alot of Spike Lee’s Do The Right Thing and Training Day from this. The one-day pressure cooker vibe and conflict between immigrant communities was very much the former. There are obvious comparisons to be made with classic La Haine as well. I even got some influence of The Raid in there!
Ladj Ly took advantage of Buzz’s budding film aspirations to make use of beautiful, colourful drone shots. I noticed the women in the film were either protective matriarchs or valiant girls refusing to accept bullshit. I liked that bravery. I would have liked them to have bigger roles. Great performances all round but particularly from young Issa Perica. His painful portrayal really bought home the heartbreak of betraying a child’s naiveté.
I would thoroughly recommend watching this but be prepared to be upset. I was.
Still showing in Everyman cinemas and now Amazon Prime
Coming Up In October: It’s Black History Month in the UK, will be looking to share a few posts and read some books on Black British History. In particular, interested in reading work from Black women’s perspective. Looking Forward to Ake Festival It’s Booker month too! Hope to find time to read Brandon Taylor’s Real Life. Hope to watch Rocks too!