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Screening: INJUSTICE

Sunday 2 June 2019


Director: Migrant Media (Ken Fero, Tariq Mehmood)

UK, 2001

98 mins

In 1969 David Oluwale became the first black person to die in police custody in Britain. Many others have died since then. None of the police officers involved have been convicted of these deaths. In this documentary, the families of these victims ask “Why not?”

This is a blow by blow account of the relentless struggles of the families as they find out how they lost their loved ones in extremely violent deaths at the hands of police officers.

Each family is met with a wall of official secrecy and the film documents how they unite and challenge this together. The documentary uses powerful exclusive footage filmed over a five year period and witnesses the families pain and anger at the killings. It documents the fight to retrieve the bodies for burial, the mockery of police self-investigation and the collusion of the legal system in the deaths.

I N J U S T I C E documents the horrific loss of life at the hands of the state and it’s attempts to cover up these killings. The British police have been responsible for hundreds of deaths and have walked free.

Injustice is a documentary feature film that follows the struggles for justice by the families of people that have died in police custody. Between 1969 and 1999 over one thousand people died in police custody in England. Not one police officer has ever been convicted for any of these deaths. Injustice depicts how Brian Douglas, Joy Gardner, Shiji Lapite and Ibrahima Sey met violent deaths at the hands of the police and documents a five year period when their families came together to fight for the truth.

Injustice took seven years to produce. Since its launch in July 2001 the police have tried to censor the film. The Police Federation and individual police officers threatened legal action at cinemas and at the film makers who refused to stop screening the film and instead took it on a national tour showing it anywhere they could. The audience took over one cinema and projected the film when the cinema manager, under threat of the police, refused to. Critically acclaimed in its own right, Injustice also gained news coverage across all national channels as well as on CNN.

Injustice has been described as the most politically controversial film of recent years. It has moved cinema audiences to tears and inspired others to action with its portrayal of the struggles for justice by the families of people who have died at the hands of police officers.

Injustice has gained an international reputation and has been screened at over 50 film festivals around the world. Since November 2001 the British Film Institute have been distributing the film around regional film theatres. The film is also running at the Prince Charles Cinema in Leicester Square, London. Countless community screening have been held across the UK. The film makers and families hold Q&A sessions at all screenings. Injustice was nominated for an Index On Censorship Award and won Best Documentary at the BFM International Film Festival in 2002 as well as a National Social Justice Award and the award for Best Film on Human Rights at the One World Film Festival in 2003. Despite this success television broadcasters in the UK, including Channel Four and the BBC, have refused to show the film.

Injustice has been screened in the European Parliament generating a debate by politicians there. In the UK the scandal that Injustice exposes, and opposes, has caused deep concern and has forced a political reaction to these human rights abuses. As a result of the film the Attorney General was forced to announce a state review into the Crown Prosecution Service. The families of victims of police brutality are using the film as a powerful weapon to demand justice.