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Under The Cranes: Rio film screening to support #SaveRidleyRoad campaign

PUBLISHED: 12:25 30 April 2019 | UPDATED: 12:25 30 April 2019

Under The Cranes premiered at The Rio Cinema eight years ago. Picture: Emma-Louise Williams.

Under The Cranes premiered at The Rio Cinema eight years ago. Picture: Emma-Louise Williams.

Archant

This Sunday, The Rio is hosting a special screening of Under The Cranes - a film exploring themes of migration and regeneration in Hackney - to support the #SaveRidleyRoad campaign.

Ridley Road at dusk. The screening will be held in aid of the #SaveRidleyRoad project. Picture: Emma-Louise Williams.Ridley Road at dusk. The screening will be held in aid of the #SaveRidleyRoad project. Picture: Emma-Louise Williams.

The film premiered at The Rio in 2011, and this weekend's event will be the fourth time it has been shown here. Emma-Louise Williams, the director, will attend to say a few words to introduce the movie.

“I wanted to create something that broke with conventional documentary and its so-called objective narration,” she says, “in order to look at the built environment and see it in a new way - filled with stories of migration, pride in social housing, change and regeneration.

“Under The Cranes is shot on super 16mm film using a kind of portraiture of buildings, streets, parks, markets, etc – this is intercut with archive footage from Hackney Archive which I digitised, some of which had not been seen since it was shot.

“I then created a heightened, dissonant soundtrack made up of actors performing Michael Rosen's voice play (Hackney Streets), music, song and location sound. The end result is a hybrid of documentary, drama and montage, or 'filmpoem.'”

A still from the movie; inspired by Michael Rosen's Hackney Streets. Picture: Emma-Louise Williams.A still from the movie; inspired by Michael Rosen's Hackney Streets. Picture: Emma-Louise Williams.

Once the credits have rolled, the floor will open for a Q&A panel featuring members of the Save Ridley Road team and Michael Rosen, whose play for voices – Hackney Streets – is what inspired Under The Cranes in the first place.

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Proceeds from Sunday's screening will go towards bolstering the marketplace for which this cross-section of Dalston is arguably most well-known. Billy Parry-Davies, from Open Dalston, is clear that further support for Ridley Road can't come soon enough.

“Ridley Road Market is under threat,” he says, “Under threat from regeneration and gentrification.

“Off-shore developers want luxury flats and offices. Street market traders will lose their storage, small independent shops will be lost. The market's character, diversity and affordability, which so many depend on, is under threat.”

Under The Cranes covers themes of migration in Hackney over several hundred years, with characters as far-flung as Shakespeare and Black Beauty novelist Anna Sewell featured alongside a Jamaican builder and Bangladeshi restaurateur.

Sunday's event also offers The Rio a chance to showcase their incredible photo archive (more on this here), with pictures of Ridley Road Market from the 80s on show.

“I hope for people to see that the city has long histories that often get obscured and ignored in the general way history gets told,” adds Williams.

“That migration is not a nuisance or a disaster but an enriching of city life; that there was a fine progressive tradition of social housing which took people out of terrible slum conditions after the privations of WWII and that the buzzword “regeneration” is problematic and the film interrogates that word.”

Under The Cranes is on at The Rio this Sunday, May 5 from 3.45pm. Tickets are £8 (or £5 for cons). More details here.

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