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Towards a post-racial UK

George Bernard Shaw wrote: ‘You use a glass mirror to see your face; you use works of art to see your soul.’

Culture Watch James Paul
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Daniel Kaluuya (centre) plays Fred Hampton in Judas and the Black Messiah | photo: Warner Bros

These past weeks I have been pondering the way the films honoured at the recent Academy Awards reflect the soul of contemporary society. Nomadland (Best Picture, Best Actress and Best Director) explores the fallout of the 2008 economic crisis for a generation of ‘houseless’ Americans who are too old to find re-employment but too poor to retire. The Father (Best Actor and Best Adapted Screenplay) looks at the growing epidemic of dementia from within the mind of a sufferer. And Shaka King’s historical drama, Judas and the Black Messiah (Best Supporting Actor), although set during the late 1960s, brings us to reflect on the continuing fight against racial injustice as highlighted by the Black Lives Matter protests that followed the murder of George Floyd a year ago.