A hard hitting film ‘SUS’ which treads the sensitive ground of stop and search laws used by the police is set to hit London screens following positive reviews.
Produced by Urban Screen productions a discussion panel will also take place on the night of the theatrical screening and will note among others Duwayne Brooks, friend of tragic teenager Stephen Lawrence who was murdered in a racist attack in 1994.
Delving into territory considered by many politicians to be a no-go area, the film deals with the abuse of stop and search laws head on, and highlights and explores the issue of institutional racism-still manifesting it’s ugly face today at the expense of an equal society.
The story begins in 1979: It’s election night and Britain is about to go down the path of Thatcherism. A young black man is interrogated at the hands of the police when they find his pregnant wife murdered. Rather than seeking to establish the truth, they abuse, and humiliate their suspect. The backdrop of the police being more concerned with the Tory landslide that is about to take place is significant. The film is a harsh depiction of the institutional racism evident in the police force in 1979. It is also a sobering reminder that we still have yet to rid policing-particularly in London- of institutional racism. The lead character’s struggle in ‘SUS’ is typical of the wider struggles many face as a result of the problem.
SUS law is a law which enabled police to stop and search members of the pubic purely on the basis of suspicion alone. The 1980’s saw the continuous and endemic abuse of this law by police on minority communities reach cataclysmic proportions, sparking riots in Bristol, London, and Liverpool.
While today there is no SUS law, the stop and search law under section 44 of the 2000 terrorism act has enabled police to continue stopping and searching black people-which has continued since the 1980’s to be disproportionately high compared to white people. The abuse of power by the police remains, and particularly with minority communities the problem goes hand in hand with the damaged and fragile relationship black communities often have with the police.
The theatrical screening will take place on May 19th at 7pm at:
The Albany, Douglas Way, Deptford, SE8 4AG Tel : 0208 692 4446
Tickets are £8 the direct link is:
‘Supported by the National Lottery through the UK Film Council and Film London Regional Investment Fund for England’
by Richard Sudan