Who Needs A Heart

TX: Channel 4


Single channel 16mm film transferred to video, sound

80 minutes

Director: John Akomfrah

Producer: Lina Gopaul

Who Needs A Heart is a series of micro narratives through which we follow the lives of a group of friends and lovers between 1965 and 1975. A record of life on the fringes, the film explores the forgotten history of the British Black Power Movement through the fictional lives of a group of friends caught up in the metamorphoses of the movement’s central figure; the counter-cultural anti-hero, activist and charismatic social bandit Michael Abdul Malik.

Narrative has been replaced by a collage of fragments and a hallucinatory soundtrack – both of which work together to present a vivid description of the social scene through which the Black Power Movement flowed, and the emotional and psychological consequences for the young people caught up in it.

Awards and Nominations

  • Grand Prix Archive Usage, National Black Programming Consortium, USA, 1991
  • Best New Drama, Chicago Film Festival, Chicago, USA 1992
  • Grand Prize, Stockholm Film Festival, Stockholm, Sweden 1992.
  • Jury Award, Athens Film Festival, Athens, Greece 1991
  • Best Film Sound Track, City Limits, USA 1992.