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Dan Carrier’s movies news: Being Blacker

23 February, 2018 — By Dan Carrier

Steve ‘Blacker Dread’ Martin

STEVE “Blacker Dread”­ Martin has, for four decades, run a successful reggae record shop in Coldharbour Lane in Brixton.

A record producer and considered to be a leading figure in the Brixton community, his life has been brought to the big screen by director Molly Dineen, who spent three years filming his story in her new documentary, Being Blacker.

Molly first met Blacker, pictured, nearly 40 years ago when he featured in a film called Sound Business, about sound system culture, that she made as a student.

The issues that surround people in London come to the fore: educational inequality, lack of opportunity, racism, unemployment and crime and violence figure – but so does an unbreakable sense of belonging – and underlying it is the incredible London reggae music scene, which offers a cultural lodestone for so many.

In the film’s publicity bumf – it is produced by Camden-based firm Dartmouth Films – they say: “We follow Blacker and his wide circle of family and friends through his incarceration for fraud, his daughter’s wedding, his youngest son’s education in Jamaica, and the spectre of violence and criminality cast over his life by his son’s murder a decade earlier – all recalled in Blacker’s relentlessly charismatic voice, and all of which highlight issues that loom large over Britain’s black communities today.”

The film will be screened at selected cinemas from March 1 and broadcast on BBC2 at 9pm on March 12.

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