Ultraviolence, a new documentary by Ken Fero, will be released on BFI Player Subscription exclusively on 5 July, making it available to be seen by audiences UK-wide. The digital release comes after an extended run at BFI Southbank from 25 to 30 June, which includes a screening followed by a discussion with Ken Fero and contributor to the film Janet Alder, hosted by Tony Warner, African Odysseys chair and activist in residence at UCL, on Saturday 26 June.
Ultraviolence premiered at the BFI London Film Festival in October 2020 and is Ken Fero’s follow up to his groundbreaking film Injustice (2001). Almost two decades later, Fero and Migrant Media, a collective of radical filmmakers working in documentary production, continue their fearless exploration of UK deaths in police custody and the campaign for justice. This urgent film, screening just after the first anniversary of the death of George Floyd, is a timely reminder of the powerful potential of political cinema.
Since 1969, over 2,000 people have died at the hands of the police in the UK. Shootings, chokeholds, batons, gassing, suffocation, restraint and brutal beatings are some of the methods used. The number of deaths is escalating. Inevitably police officers involved are not convicted for these killings. In this documentary, the families of the victims of police violence demand justice. They ask why society ignores human rights abuses by agents of the state. This reflection on resistance is poignant and political, capturing the brutality and trauma as well as the unrelenting fightback of those who will not be silent about state violence.
Placing events that happened between 1995 and 2005 in the wider context of a nation at war, the film is also personal – utilising the creators’ perspectives as filmmakers and activists.
Content warning: this film includes real-life footage of violence that some viewers might find upsetting.
Originally published: 2 June 2021