London film maker Andrew Onwubolu, otherwise known as Rapman, has certainly left his mark on the film industry following the release of his long awaited and highly anticipated film, Blue Story.
The film which had the positive intention to shed light on the brutal reality of what it is like to grow up as a black male in London, and unite the fragmented communities, was unfortunately not received in the way anyone would have ever expected.
Instead, a string of violent outbreaks took place during the films opening week by a handful of troublesome teens, which resulted in cinema chains like ‘Vue’ and ‘Showcase’ halting any screenings of the film in their cinemas.
The most recent incident that took place was a stabbing which occurred in a Cineworld in Nottingham after a fight broke out, which made the film live up to its title of being branded a ‘gang’ film.
“Showcase have stuck to their word and have reinstated Blue Story to their screens.”
Despite cinemas like Showcase promising to return Blue Story to screens, this chain of events has created an uproar, especially in the black community who are branding the removal of Blue Story as an attack on race.
Rapman released a Tweet proving Showcase stuck to their word and returned his film to their screens.
Showcase have stuck to their word and have reinstated Blue Story to their screens. 👌🏾 pic.twitter.com/2sBMU7y6ja
— Rapman (@RealRapman) November 25, 2019
I think that by removing the film from cinemas was not the best solution and response to the violent incidents that occurred, as if anything it fuelled more violent outbreaks in retaliation.
The reason for this is because, for once there was a film put out that people could relate to, as for many this film represents the reality that they live on a daily basis; and no sooner that it was put out for the world to see, no sooner was it taken away.
I feel that still, in the society that we live in ethnic minorities are not always represented especially in the film industry, and this is why this film was so important to so many, as it was a true reflection of the current state of London and other parts of the UK, especially for the youth.
This is because gang culture is all too common, however is it a choice or a means to survive ?
This isn’t the first time that Rapman has attempted to shed light on the violence epidemic that London is facing, which is causing the deaths of many young black boys every year, as in 2017 he created Shiro’s Story which is a three part youtube drama, once again about the life of a young black man called “Shiro growing up in London”.
From the success of both Shiro’s Story which is in talks of becoming a Netflix series and Blue Story which has been shortlisted for a BAFTA it shows that these productions are important and needed as so many people can relate to them.
I think the negative publicity that the film is receiving is very sad and unfortunate, as the aim of the film was not to cause violence but to dissolve it; but hopefully as more people and try to understand it they will finally see the beauty and positivity that the film has to offer to the younger generation.