In 1981, British working class neighborhood Brixton saw an outbreak of rioting in response to several violent episodes between local police and Brixton's black residents. Now, filmmaker Kibwe Tavares has reimagined these riots between police and robot workers.
His short film "Robots of Brixton" is a fascinating and gorgeously-designed interpretation of what might happen to robots created to be humanity's slave force. Tavares imagines robots consigned to the same neighborhoods as immigrant workers, and dealing with the kinds of police neglect and aggression that sparked what came to be called Bloody Saturday in 1981. The political message is stark, but you won't be able to take your eyes off Tavares' brilliant robot concepts and his surreal vision of a robot slum.
Tavares describes his film like this:
Brixton has degenerated into a disregarded area inhabited by London's new robot workforce - robots built and designed to carry out all of the tasks which humans are no longer inclined to do. The mechanical population of Brixton has rocketed, resulting in unplanned, cheap and quick additions to the skyline.
The film follows the trials and tribulations of young robots surviving at the sharp end of inner city life, living the predictable existence of a populous hemmed in by poverty, disillusionment and mass unemployment. When the Police invade the one space which the robots can call their own, the fierce and strained relationship between the two sides explodes into an outbreak of violence echoing that of 1981.