111 minutes, U.K., 1968, Colour & Black and White, Digital

This film screened on Tuesday 18th August 2015. 

Inspired by Godard and Jean Vigo, Lindsay Anderson’s Palme d’Or-winning, anti-establishment story of disaffected youth in revolt at a timeworn, unscrupulous British public school is innovative both in form and content. Shifting back and forth between colour and black and white, and punctuated by title card statements of intent, If…. recounts the exploits of three subversive lower-sixth formers, led by Malcolm McDowell in his first and arguably most captivating film role. After a brutal caning by the slightly older student ‘Whips’ for their air of disinterest, the trio stage a revolt, an insurrection in which the authorities decide to fight back with vigour.

This screening is part of Anger is an Energy: Cinema of Protest, our season throughout August that features films – from a range of time periods and national cultures – that examine how some of cinema’s most creative and daring directors have tackled and responded to sociopolitical dissent.

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