Young Soul Rebels

Institute History

  • 1992 Sundance Film Festival


This thriller is set in London during the long, hot summer of 1977, the year of the queen’s Silver Jubilee. Black popular culture is on the rise, influencing the mainstream through disco, soul music and the club scene. Caz and Chris are two young, black disc jockeys, one gay, one straight, who run a pirate radio station spreading soul and funk across the feverish city. While the relationship between Caz and Chris is evolving, the murder of a young black boy occurs in a neighborhood park. The mystery surrounding the murder slowly unravels, and the boys find themselves caught up in a tangled web of suspicion, lust and music.

Director Isaac Julien, who has already made a name for himself on the international cinema scene with the critically successful short, Looking for Langston, about the poet Langston Hughes, explains the background of the film this way: “growing up young, black, homosexual and poor isn’t exactly an easy situation to live with. But in England this situation is nearly a total nightmare.” Young Soul Rebels pulsates with the electrifying feel of London club and street life and moves forward in a constant surge of energy.

— David Alberico

Screening Details

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