This event featuring 8 short documentaries painted the kind of vivid picture of East London, and London in general, that justifies it being part of something bearing the prestigious name of the East End Film Festival. When I think of London I think of public transport and public houses; cityscape sunsets and steak pies; gentrification and throaty fag laughs; high rise council estates and all manner of colourful, multi-national cuisines. Genesis Cinema was filled with evocations of all these things this Sunday and therefore it was utterly brilliant.
We were thrown back to the 1943 Bethnal Green Tube disaster in I REMEMBER I REMEMBER with gut-wrenching accounts from three survivors, who remember the horror of the day and how it felt like a dirty secret. Then it was off to the pub of an eccentric LANDLADY in Shorditch, dancing her way through her busy evenings with punters and turning her nose up at too much football hooliganism.
You could almost taste the flavours and smell the aromas of the steaming dishes cooked by five migrant women in Hackney Wick working for Mazi Maz, a roaming restaurant for migrant and refugee women depicted in GASTRONOMADS. Then LEATHERMARKET: a lesson in the history of Bermondsey through the words of residents who have seen the insatiable monster that is Gentrification comb the area, clinging to their memories of the place in old photographs.
81-year-old CONNIE effortlessly captured our hearts with her dazzling zest for life – still clubbing, with no signs of quitting – as did the father-and-son run butchers WELLBELOVED which has resisted caving in to the ever-impending supermarket chains all around it. Regeneration of the East was explored in the 55-year-old council estate known as LEGOLAND that was rebuilt as Castle Green Place. The finally journey was a ride from West to East: a peek at the view from the hopeful feat in London transport thats was the D>L>R