The Stuart Hall Project (12A)

Film

Documentaries

The Stuart Hall Project

Time Out rating:

<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>4</span>/5

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Time Out says

Wed Sep 4 2013

This is a stirring documentary tribute to the cultural theorist Stuart Hall – born in Jamaica and living in Britain since the 1950s – by the filmmaker John Akomfrah. Hall’s life and words are acute reflections of the world and Britain’s role in it in the second half of the twentieth century and he has long concerned himself with issues of identity, race, social change and much more besides. Akomfrah finds an imaginative way of telling Hall’s story: he cuts his words, taken from archive media appearances and, presumably, a new interview, to archive imagery, both of Hall himself and the events and situations he alludes to. It means we see the past few decades through very special eyes. Perhaps most disturbing is how we almost entirely lack – or at least give few platforms to – such public intellectuals in today’s Britain. For a man with his finger so lucidly and impressively on the pulse throughout his life, his parting words are especially moving: ‘I feel the world is stranger to me than I have ever felt before.’

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Release details

Rated:

12A

UK release:

Fri Sep 6, 2013

Duration:

103 mins

Cast and crew

Director:

John Akomfrah

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Average User Rating

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Frazer Payne

This is more accessible than Akonfrah's previous outing, but it still has a broad, sometimes dizzying sweep. The film describes Stuart Hall's life and work, while also casting light on the changing times he lived through, and the ideas he generated as a result. It's a lot to deliver, and a lot to take in, perhaps because Hall was such a multi-facetted character. I was left wanting less sweep, more tangible detail. None the less, this is a brave and timely film. With an enormous wealth of archive footage intelligently edited, the film is a striking way to view England over the last 50 years, accompanied by the words and thoughts of a man who has come to be mentioned in the same breath as luminaries like Noam Chomsky and Howard Zinn.

Frazer Payne

This is more accessible than Akonfrah's previous outing, but it still has a broad, sometimes dizzying sweep. The film describes Stuart Hall's life and work, while also casting light on the changing times he lived through, and the ideas he generated as a result. It's a lot to deliver, and a lot to take in, perhaps because Hall was such a multi-facetted character. I was left wanting less sweep, more tangible detail. None the less, this is a brave and timely film. With an enormous wealth of archive footage intelligently edited, the film is a striking way to view England over the last 50 years, accompanied by the words and thoughts of a man who has come to be mentioned in the same breath as luminaries like Noam Chomsky and Howard Zinn.