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Who Are We?

John Smith

UK, 2016
4 minutes, 38 seconds, Colour, Stereo, 16:9
Available formats: HD Digital file

On the 23rd of June 2016 Britain voted to leave the European Union. Who Are We? is a re-working of material from a BBC television debate transmitted a few weeks earlier.”The most provocative of the bunch is John Smith’s Who Are We?. Leading up to the Brexit vote, BBC’s Question Time became ever more vicious and confrontational. Who Are We? is a manipulation of one of those broadcasts, with David Dimbleby prompting “you, sir, up there on the far right” repeatedly.“Get our identity back – vote leave!” one audience member shouts, while another declares himself a veteran, followed by a swift manipulated cut to rapturous applause. It’s a heavily edited and remixed edition of Question Time, but by highlighting those in the audience with attitudes ranging from nationalistic to xenophobic, Smith’s short film shows the now normalised extremism within our society and our political discourse.” Scott Wilson, Common Space magazine, April 2017