Dir: Bashart Malik / Prod: Christina Robinho, Saleh Mammon, Ras Judah / 70mins / 15 year old and over / 2022
Wed 5 October // 19:30
Tickets: £5 Adv
A story that must be told not only because it’s shocking that this actually happened but also that no police officer has been held accountable.
‘I am Judah’, a cinematic documentary film about an Easton community elder ‘Ras’ Judah Adunbi.
Doors - 7.30
Film Starts - 8pm
Q&A - after the film
In 2017, police mistook Ras Judah for a crime suspect and was brutally tasered in the face while he was walking his dog. The officer who discharged the taser was found not guilty at criminal trial and in September 2018 was also cleared of misconduct.
If it wasn’t for Ras Judah Adunbi’s neighbour, Tom Cherry, we might never have known what really happened. Tom was there to record the incident on his phone in January 2017, so the story, capturing this moment, also begs questions about how we respect, even notice other people in a modern, diverse, multiracial city.
Millions watched the phone footage on mainstream news reports and over social media causing international outrage. He was tasered while standing up for his legal right to not give his name when stopped.
Ras Judah is a beloved and highly-respected elder in his community in Bristol. The whole community remains shocked and unsettled by how he was treated.
A twist to the story is that this was not the first or the last time that Ras Judah has been a victim of police harassment and violence and so-called 'mistaken identity'. Ras Judah is determined to speak the uncensored truth of what has happened to him, not only for himself but for all the other victims of these types of injustices.
The film isn’t a documentary expose, but a deeper exploration of the meaning of identity through one man’s eyes, with a completely independent approach. Using verbatim script, poetry and cinematography to reinforce a deeply personal narrative, Director Bashart Malik is joined by University of Bristol policing lawyer, Dr Clare Torrible, to highlight how institutional bias, system failure, and a lack of mindfulness led to a violent incident at Ras Judah’s home, and the subsequent undermining of the trust systems we expect to live by.
“He’s been involved in engagement throughout his life: campaigned, raised funds; set up the St Paul’s Sports Academy; acted as police relations advisor; trained kids…a lifetime of community activism,” says Bashart.
The film aims to engage a wide audience and send the message that institutional racism and injustice continues to be rife.
“The way we have been treated by those who should know better—police, local authority, government—it warrants exposure” says Ras Judah. “We know unlawful acts have been conducted in this country and it’s been going on a long time.”
“It’s not about me as an individual” he continues. “I’m talking about what’s happening up and down the country to other people. My story needs to go to people that matter: people suffering, people less fortunate. It’s for future generations coming through.”
“What researching this project has brought home to me is the fear that is engendered when people feel that the police is not held properly to account,” says Dr Clare Torrible, University of Bristol.
I am Judah will bring the full story to light of a man who throughout his life has had to fight.
This screening is supported by The World Reimagined a UK wide charity connecting shared British history and the contemporary quest for racial justice. theworldreimagined.org