Little Known Black History Fact: Horace Ove’

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  • Horace Ove’ is the first black British filmmaker to direct a full feature-length film. The film was called “Pressure” and was released in 1975. “Pressure” presented racism and a brutal truth that the British film industry had never seen. As a result, Ove’s film was banned for two years after its release by the British Film Institute.

    Ove’s work was said to have given new recognition to Black Britain. His films expressed the black power movement abroad, around the same time of the civil rights era in the U.S.

    A native of Trinidad and Tobago, Ove’ was born in 1939. He moved to Britain in 1960 to study interior design. After working as a film extra in Rome, Ove’ decided to direct his efforts to acting, so he enrolled at the London School of Film Technique.

    One of Ove’s famous films was Baldwin’s Nigger in 1968. The film featured novelist James Baldwin as a commentator on race relations in Britain and the U.S. Two years later, he made history again with the movie “Reggae,” which was the first black-financed full-length feature film in Britain. The film was a success at the box office and supported by the BBC.

    Ove’s ability to mix documentaries and drama in one production was both applauded and ridiculed by networks and press across Britain. His work was shown on several channels in the country. He continued to present racial issues in his themes. Though sometimes under scrutiny, his focus remains on building a foundation of racial empathy for the characters in his films and bringing political awareness to his viewers and supporters.

    Ove’ was made a Commander of the British Empire by the Queen of England for his work in film in 2007. He currently resides overseas, either in the Caribbean or London, England.
     

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