British Universities Film & Video Council

moving image and sound, knowledge and access

Dread, Beat an’ Blood

Alternative title
Dread, Beat and Blood
Synopsis
Profile of Linton Kwesi Johnson whose poetry is rooted very strongly in feelings of marginalisation and alienation found within urban black populations in the UK. Johnson, born in Jamaica in 1952, has deliberately chosen to align himself with the oral poetic tradition of the West Indies, in which the poet is not isolated and introspective, but has a definite social role as a commentator and interpreter, as a public voice around which people can gather. As he says in the film, "The spoken word has more immediacy: it reaches more people, than written poetry could ever do." The concerns of his poetry are the concerns of the community within which he moves: the young black working-class people of inner city London who, mainly unemployed, are disaffected and disillusioned. These concerns do not fit easily into the speech patterns and poetic forms of standard English. As Johnson explains in the film, "I found the English language too dead, too sterile, so I resorted to my first language - Jamaican Creole." The film follows Johnson as he read his poems in a school, works at the Keskidee centre, records an LP, and recites at a march in Bradford. As he talks about his writing, and his reasons for writing, it becomes clear just how strong the relationship is between his work as a poet and the community for whom he does that work.
Language
English
Country
Great Britain
Year of release
1980
Year of production
1979
Subjects
Social Studies; Literature
Keywords
Caribbean writers; ethnic minorities; performing arts; poetry; social class; black writers; Johnson, Lynton Kwesi; social integration

Online availability

URI
http://artsonfilm.wmin.ac.uk/filmsuk.php?a=view&recid=0
Price
fre to UK HE
Delivery
Streamed

Credits

Director
Franco Rosso
Producer
Franco Rosso

Distribution Formats

Type
DVD
Price
£50.00
Availability
Sale
Duration/Size
45 minutes
Year
2007

Type
VHS
Format
PAL
Price
£50.00 sale £15.00 hire
Availability
Sale Hire
Duration/Size
45 minutes
Year
2007

Production Company

Name

Arts Council England

Distributor

Name

Arts on Film Archive, University of Westminster

Notes
Arts on Film Archive offers on-line access to a large range of films on art produced in the United Kingdom since the 1950s, and is a unique record of British and international post-war art, as well as of documentary film-making in the UK. In its first phase, the archive offers a complete database and an on-line video streaming of all 450 films made by the film department of Arts Council England between 1953 and 1998 and several films produced till 2003 by the dance Department of ACE. The collection is only available streamed to ac.uk domain addresses.

Record Stats

This record has been viewed 734 times.