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4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5 stars
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on 6 May 2014
I was drawn to the portrayal of an icon of multiculturalism but found it disappointing. It was a montage - or a jumble - of his cultural and political attitudes and experiences but they were not elaborated on or explained. This sketch of his life in the UK seemed to be devised as a tribute to Stuart Hall by his friends, without sufficient thought for the wider public interested in the issues but not acquainted with the man.
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on 30 January 2014
Interesting documentary on the cultural theorist Stuart Hall. Unlike other documentaries this one has a unique approach as it uses footage of Hall from past television and radio appearances covering the last 40 - 50 years, rather than up to date interviews with the man himself and the 'colleagues' who would praise him. It is fascinating viewing, seeing the political and cultural landscapes change over the decades, featuring everything from colonialism, miners strikes, mods and rockers and longer coverage of regarding racial integration in Britain. It's extraordinary that so much footage of Hall survives in the archives, and this is a film that will certainly be of interest to anyone interested in the history of television and archive material. Now 80, Hall himself states near the end of the film that the world he sees today is more confusing than it ever was. A view I'm sure shared with many who have lived through the decades now long since past. The music score throughout is by Miles Davis which, after a while, started to grate just a little bit, but this is the only fault I can find with this absorbing project which truly deserves to be seen
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 23 August 2014
Interesting, if slow building, documentary on Stuart Hall, one of England's leading leftist thinkers of the last 40 years.

The film eschews some of the usual tropes of bio-docs, using no new talking heads interviews, but only clips from Hall's various TV and radio appearances over the years, along with old film clips of the eras being discussed, close shots of magazines, and some very poetic (I assume) newly shot footage of skylines and people. The music is mostly Miles Davis, who is Hall's favorite musician, although it really adds more emotion to the film when later on Akomfrah switches tactics and uses more music by a film composer and others as well, including Brian Eno.

For those of us who know little about Hall, (he's not a familiar name here in the states) the film can be frustrating for a while, because it recounts a lot of biographical details without getting into exactly what it is that Hall espouses or believes, or why he was/is so important to the left or UK culture. But over time the film starts to dig deeper, and it's hard not to be struck by Hall's thoughtful, powerful but non- didactic views. After listening to screaming partisan talking heads on American television it's wonderful to listen to someone who injects such civility, coomplexity and thoughtfulness into presenting his views, and never seems to resort to simplistic answers or blame. He also acknowledges and embraces how his views and perceptions have continued to evolve over the decades as the world around him continues to change. Would that we had more such people here speaking on both sides of the political spectrum.
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on 9 March 2014
This is just awful. A terrible wasted opportunity. Does nothing to explain Halls ideas or draw out their impact in academic or political circles. A rambling and muddled collection of library footage, often totally inappropriate to the point being made (shots of the troubles in Derry against a comment about race, shots of a slate quarry when the point is about coalminers, pictures of British V bombers when the theme is Vietnam – where they weren’t used, endless familiar scenes from the sixties which have no bearing on anything, and so on, and on, and on). No-one could learn anything from this. Not one of Halls many fertile ideas is given space for anything like a coherent statement. Worst of all, it’s just boring. The endless droning sound track does an injustice both to Stuart and to Miles Davis. An unforgivable indulgence, insulting both to Hall and to the viewer. Buy one of his books instead.
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on 16 May 2014
delivery speedy and fine condition; an homage delivered in a lyrical style that re-createssome important moments in SH's cultural and political journey but which is less thorough in its discussion of his political reformulations than expected.
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on 28 April 2014
A great man Stuart Hall - he was indeed. This is good documentary covering over five decades of social and political history and is also a biography of sorts of a much and widely admired person,
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on 3 December 2015
This film told me more about the man who impressed and influenced me the most as an undergraduate with the Open University. Sorry he's gone.
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on 7 December 2015
Amazing and inspiring documentary, a great homage to Stuart Hall. The excellent soundtrack adds to the experience.
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on 31 July 2015
Absolutely brilliant film. I am bemused I could have grown up in this country and not been aware of this man.
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on 25 November 2015
So impressive, moving and enlightening. Delighted to have it.
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