A lone policeman took it upon himself to visit local cinemas advising them not to show a movie film about a gang in the west midlands.There was a recent screening planned at the International Black Festival in Birmingham. Again no cinema would let them show it because the West Midlands police had warned them against it. Penny the director finally screened it in a place called the Custard Factory on a dvd. Police arrived 15 minutes into the screening and stopped it, turned on all the lights and came in to
"count" the audience (all quietly watching the film). They also took the
film crew's details.
When the police superintendent was challenged by Penny on Radio 5 Live the next morning, the superintendant claimed that her officers had attended "because we heard there were problems with the projector" (a startling claim in its own right, no less when there was actually no projector...).
No-one can really figure out what has happened. It is deeply alarming that
the police have suddenly switched sides and decided to actively censor the
film by persuading cinema owners that public health and safety is at risk.
For a £750k small independent British film, perhaps the police will wreck
its chances of getting a big enough audience to stay in the cinemas. It's
hard to say.
I've just watched C4 news tonight which has picked up the story. The same
superintendent is now claiming that there has been 'no co-ordinated
actions' by the West Midlands police to ban the film.
At any rate - the film as still been pulled from Birmingham, Walsall,
Wolverhampton and Coventry.
If you are free on Friday night and live in an area where the film is
playing, I really encourage you to check it out.
Set in a 24 hour period of the Jonnson gang and the burger bar boyz, the movie has caused a storm of protest and controversy,espically in and around Birmingham where it is set.It's a movie called "1Day" about a day in the life of black drug gangs in Birmingham, UK.
My Gran points out that firstname.lastname@example.org is the email address of the Head of the police's PR in Birmingham.