The mission of The Department of Afro-American Research Arts and Culture to identify the global significance of the creative contributions pioneered by an international diaspora of Blackness
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Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Black Joy (1977)


Nominated for the Golden Palm award at Cannes in 1977, Anthony Simmons (Four in the Morning, The Optimists) directs the insightful if seedy story of an innocent and unsophisticated Guyanan immigrant, Ben (Trevor Thomas), who is exposed to the hustle of the Brixton ghetto. Ben arrives in Brixton with his cardboard suitcase and a piece of paper with the address of a relative on it. Within minutes he has lost his wallet to an artful dodger and is forced to sleep at a doss house with one eye closed and other watching his fellow dossers.

Nearly penniless, Ben wanders around Brixton and meets Dave (Norman Beaton), a conniving hustler who lives off the earnings of girlfriend Miriam (Floella Benjamin) and spends his days and money in gambling clubs and brothels. Dave at first sees the innocent Ben as an easy target, and offers to show him the ropes, meet girls and learn the ways of the big city; but ultimately the two men forge a unique friendship based on the corruption of the innocent and the survival of the underdogs.