LondonNet News Headlines
17/09/01
Ritzy Scraps Screening of Anti-Police Film
- 'We cannot risk everything for the sake of one film,' says Brixton cinema

BRIXTON's Ritzy cinema has come under fire for cancelling a scheduled one-week run of Injustice, the documentary accusing eight serving police officers of killing black people in custody.

The cinema withdrew the film, despite being given no official warning, saying it could not risk jeopardising its future in a commercial sense. A spokesperson for the Ritzy, which prides itself on being a cultural hub of black Britain, said the cinema made the decision after consulting lawyers. "We cannot risk everything for the sake of one film. We know people are not going to be happy about it, but we had to act on legal advice."

But film-makers Migrant Media fear it could undermine plans for national distribution and are preparing to sue for breach of contract. "If this film cannot be shown in the heart of Brixton, where can it be shown?," said director Ken Fero. "This film has already been previewed in cinemas, like the Curzon, brave enough to show it. It does not look very good for the Ritzy that it collapsed without the police even sending a solicitors' letter."

Injustice relates the story of Joy Gardner, Brian Douglas and Shiji Lapite, among others who died in custody. Lawyers representing the officers concerned and the Police Federation have issued a warning of defamatory action against those who show it. A statement released by the federation said that none of the officers had been found guilty of anything and that they had been refused an advance view of the film to respond to the allegations.

The film was due to be shown this week until Thursday 27 September.






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