Stop,Look,Listen…my weekly selection of favourite films, books and events to get you out of the house

Dear White People (Home), a satire on American race relations, the emphasis being on “satire”. Set in a posh university (similar to Oxford and Cambridge) somewhere in the USA it is about the power struggle between privileged black (Afro American) and white students. It asks what does it mean to be black? is the race war over now Obama is president? can white people make jokes about black stereotypes? do white people secretly want to be black people? It sounds very serious but it’s not, it is very funny,lots of clever witty remarks thrown around although I have to say I only got about 60% of them due to the language and cultural differences. The only thing I found irritating was the lack of any debate about race and poverty; which are the real divisions in American society. Otherwise a very thought provoking and challenging film.

knock knock
See some austerity drama. You are not going to find it at the Manchester International Festival even if you could afford to get a ticket, which most Mancunians cannot. Love and Light Theatre presents Knock Knock, a new play written and directed by Kay Marlow. The performance began with Kay announcing that 2 (out of the 4 actors) had dropped out due to illness. She offered us the choice of leaving or staying whilst the cast carried on. The audience stayed.
Knock Knock is a play for today. The story of a single parent who loses her job, is sanctioned for missing a Jobcentre appointment and descends into poverty and despair. It is a common story in Britain today and was told with great performances by all the cast. The term Knock Knock refers to the arrival of a bailiff to try and get payment of community tax or to remove property. There is a strange scene about the Tory government and wanking which I found really irritating. People in power are not bothered about personal attacks; they don’t need to, they have all the power. Also the writer uses Peterloo as an example of people fighting back against poverty. Unfortunately that was not what it was about; it was for the vote. A better analogy would have been the unemployed workers movement of the 30s of whom women played a significant part. Proceeds from the play are going to the homeless project coffee4craig so support them!
Book tickets at
we are many
the protests against the Iraq war in 2003 in the film “We Are Many”. It was the biggest demos I had ever been on. Across the world people refused to allow Bush, and to a lesser extent Blair, get away with bombing Iraq on the pretext that Saddam Hussein was behind the 9/11 bombings. The film is an important reminder of how Blair and his supporters used the “dodgy dossier” to push Britain into supporting the USA. So millions of people demonstrated and what was the outcome? The Iraq war still went ahead and has led to further destabilisation across the world from Syria to the streets of this county. Blair’s government and their response to the march is just one of the reasons why people are so disillusioned with the political system. Great film but I could have done without the celebrity comments ie. Richard Branson and Damien Albarn: who cares??!
Support independant film club as Kino Indie Features Presents a Special Screening of ‘We Are Many’ at 3MT on Wednesday 15th July . Buy them at

about the Brixton riots in 1981. Past Tense publications have just reprinted their classic WE WANT TO RIOT, NOT TO WORK ( £5) They say “Between Friday, 10th April, 1981, and Monday April 13th April 1981, serious disorder occurred in Brixton… when large numbers of persons,predominantly black youths, attacked police, police vehicles (many of which were totally destroyed), attacked the Fire Brigade, destroyed private premises and vehicles by fire, looted, ransacked and damaged
shops…”We Want to Riot, Not to Work” (originally published in 1982) combines
rip-roaring personal accounts of the riots from unashamed participants,
with a radical analysis of their causes, and the response of the
Buy it at

communist manifesto
Yourself the bother of reading the Communist Manifesto watch the cartoon see
Only an American could make this!!

About lipstick socialist

I am an activist and writer. My interests include women, class, culture and history. From an Irish in Britain background I am a republican and socialist. All my life I have been involved in community and trade union politics and I believe it is only through grass roots politics that we will get a better society. This is reflected in my writing, in my book Northern ReSisters Conversations with Radical Women and my involvement in the Mary Quaile Club. .If you want to contact me please use my gmail which is lipsticksocialist636
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1 Response to Stop,Look,Listen…my weekly selection of favourite films, books and events to get you out of the house

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