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British Urban Film Festival - Matter of Fact

Friday 11 September 2015, by Coco Green

Years ago, in 10th grade, my World History Ms Coehlo explained the nonsensical nature of the Holocaust being that they weren’t really another race, they were German. At the time, all I could think of was myself and I interpreted this statement as racism being okay only if you’re really dealing with another race. Now, remembering this story I think of ‘folk’ notions of race. It’s common that people use race, ethnicity and nationality interchangeably and believe in the biological truth of race—however it’s defined at the time. Personally, I’m completely fascinated with process of racialisation, how lines of difference are drawn and how they change over time and place.

Watching Matter of Fact (2015), directorial debut of Adam Lannon which was a finalist in the Sci-Fi London 48 Hour Film Challenge 2015, I thought of this process of duality, contradictions and double meaning. What’s more, it that the short accomplishes this in just 5 minutes. Take a lesson 2-hour docs! The film takes place in the not so distant future in which the white supremacist ruling government’s motto, ‘White is right, matter of fact’, symbolises their policy of making a white-only state.

The dual nature of the film exists on a few levels. If we think of purging and genocide, it’s usually mass murder, but what about social death? How do we decide the between marginalisation, social exclusion and cultural death of ethnic group? In it’s critique of right-wing groups, the film also presents a vision of the future left-wing. Matter of Fact shows both blacks and whites as part of the resistance movement, suggesting the potential unity of radical politics, but given its underground nature the story is a critique of its effectiveness in the future. Or mass appeal now. Then, of course, there’s the idea of how far away we are from this dystopian future. Given concepts of national identity, English belonging and migration policy, whose to say. The film is simple, but can be read in multiple ways and makes you think. Luckily you can watch Matter of Fact along with psychological thriller The Truth (2014) and comedy Superbob (2014) on 20 September 2015 at the British Urban Film Festival.

Dir. Adam Lannon, 2015

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