This summer is the fifth anniversary of the 2011 London riots — while a lot has happened in that time, the city still shows the scars of the unrest. A new documentary about both the riots, and the killing of Mark Duggan by police that sparked them called The Hard Stop comes to cinemas on July 15. The film follows two of Duggan’s friends, Marcus Knox and Kurtis Henville. Marcus was accused of starting the riots when an originally peaceful protest outside Brixton Police Station turned violent. The accusation was dropped, but he still was sentenced to 32 months in jail on other charges, and the film details him and Kurtis’ campaign for justice for Mark Duggan, while trying to rebuild their lives. It’s powerful, vital cinema, that needs to be seen by everyone affected by the riots.
We have two exclusive clips from the film, which you can watch below. The first is from early in the film, where Marcus and later Kurtis talk through the events of that fateful week in 2011.
And in the second, Duggan’s family and friends react to the "Lawful Killing" verdict being announced.
We spoke to director George Amponsah when the film was shown at last year's London Film Festival, and you can read our in-depth interview here.
The film is having a Q&A tour.
The official synopsis reads:
The Hard Stop is an intimate documentary revealing the story, away from all press coverage, of Mark Duggan’s friends and family following his death. He was shot and killed in a ‘Hard Stop’ police procedure in 2011, sparking the most violent riots in British history.
For 28 months, director George Amponsah (The Fighting Spirit) filmed around Broadwater Farm in Tottenham, where Duggan grew up, capturing his family’s distress and focusing on two of his best friends, Marcus Knox and Kurtis Henville. We follow the men closely as they attempt to get on with their lives, look for a job, talk about the discrimination they experience on a daily basis and the impact Duggan’s death has had on the community. Duggan is present throughout, in peoples’ testimonies and news broadcasts. What emerges is a profoundly humane, thought-provoking and topical testament, which gives a voice to people who are rarely heard.
The Hard Stop is in cinemas July 15.