Directed by George Amponsah; and opening with the quote “A riot is the language of the unheard”- Martin Luther King Jr, The Hard Stop documents the events leading up to and the aftermath of the killing of Mark Duggan by London police in 2011 which sparked the huge unprecedented riots across the country.
Filming over 28 months, the film shows an insider look into the lives of the people in London where young black people feel permanently persecuted by the police. Marcus Knox- Hooke who was blamed for instigating the riots and Kurtis Henville, childhood friends of Mark Duggan are the eyes and voice of this film describing the anger and frustration felt by them and their community at what they feel is an injustice to them. Henville is a big-talker, expressive and a hard worker whereas Knox-Hooke comes across as quieter but bitterly angry about what has happened. They are first shown in The Hard Stop as they drive through Tottenham, near the Broadwater Farm estate where Knox-Hooke, Henville and Duggan grew up. they neighbourhood is most well known for the death of a police officer during earlier London riots in 1985, which were also sparked by anger at police brutality against the black community. There is purposefully no attempt to show the side of the police officers involved in Mark Duggan’s death as this is a film about a very particular perspective, one which we are rarely shown in the media.
The Hard Stop is an important film in the time of the movement Black Lives Matter against Police Brutality. The film closes with a statistic stating that despite approximately 1,500 U.K. deaths following contact with the police since since 1990, not a single officer has been charged in any of these cases.It’s an emotionally charged film but an incredibly current analysis of racial politics in the UK.