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  • How interesting that UK-based reviewers see this show as rubbish and USA reviewers see it as some brilliant piece of true drama. I think the latter haven't got a clue what they are talking about in the same way as the writer, director and producers haven't. Believe me and the others above who have said that 1972 was the height of working-class struggle in the UK when workers were more militant than ever, including on the question of racism and internationalism. The National Front (a UK neo-Nazi small organisation) was not really going then so why depict it as if it was? White anti-racists including skinheads were active with their ethnic minority neighbours and workmates throughout the 1970s but are not shown here. USA viewers and readers need to understand that though still to this day things need improving the UK is nowhere near as racist to its core as the USA is. There is nothing like the same racial ghettoisation of neighbourhoods, towns and cities as there is in the USA, no organisation as horrific as the KKK, and so on. Apart from that clanger there are so many anachronisms that I don't know where to begin, as well as good actors like Rory Kinnear giving terrible performances. At best this is a perverse comedy, causing me to howl with laughter. At worst it will give any USA viewer and younger UK viewers a completely false idea of the very real issues this confection attempts to address. After the dodgy story behind 12 Years A Slave this writer is definitely one to avoid in future.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    First Ridley writes the magnificent "12 Years A Slave." Then he does 3 seasons of "American Crime" on American TV, and even though no one watched the third season, and they had to cancel it, it was fantastic. And now we have "Guerrilla," which I wasn't too sure I was going to like going in, but is also very, very good. I used to just make "Best 10" lists for movies, but with the quality of TV so high the last few years, I have started doing it for TV now, and there's a very good chance that "Guerrilla" is going to be on it at the end of this year.

    While everyone wants to talk about the lead actors/actresses, I thought there were two great performances in supporting roles that are worth mentioning: Zawe Ashton as Omega, one of the leaders of the mainstream black resistance, and Daniel Mays as Cullen, one of the detectives trying to catch the guerrillas.

    Of course Freida Pinto is gorgeous in the series, and I couldn't help but notice if maybe the filmmakers thought so too, as it seemed the camera lingered on Pinto a bit too long even when other characters were talking on the screen.

    Idris Elba is barely in it, so if you're watching this series for him, you'll be disappointed.

    Finally, as another reviewer previously noted, it is indeed surprising that the positive reviews are coming mostly from the Americans, and the negative reviews are coming mostly from the Brits. Since it takes place in England, maybe there is an authenticity issue that I don't know about because I live in the States. But with an interesting story, interesting characters, great dialogue and great performances, I obviously liked it very much.
  • In 1971 I was a young Skinhead in a seaside town. We loved Ska and reggae and our West Indian friends - we hated long-haired white UK bikers and smelly white UK hippies who were mainly middle-class - we loved our West Indian friends - fact.

    We were working-class UK skinheads and our main music was black music - ska, soul, reggae and R&B - we loved black culture.

    To see this piece of garbage and complete lies on the US TV is so hurtful and so wrong. This program is a complete lie from someone who knows nothing about 1971 in the UK.

    This program is truly awful and a lie.

    I marched with the Clash in 1978 when we marched against the National Front in London. It is so obvious that the person who created this program knows nothing about the UK and its history.

    Possibly the worst TV crap of all time.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Just to be clear, this is not a fair review of this programme. It is not fair because I found the programme so awful, that I could only manage to get through one episode of six. I started watching the second episode but had to switch off after twenty minutes. So, to be clear, I did not enjoy it.

    The programme I am speaking of is the much promoted and heralded Sky six- parter, Guerrilla. With the headliners being Idris Elba and Freida Pinto, advertising has, misleadingly, lead with their images. Perhaps Idris comes more to the fore in later episodes, but in the opening episode, it is Frida's character that drives the story.

    So the story: Guerrilla tells the story of a group of militants who decide to free a political prisoner and wage war on the establishment after one of their friends is murdered by the police during a demonstration.

    We begin with Jas (Pinto) and her partner, Marcus (Babou Ceesay) visiting their activist friend, Dhari (Nathaniel Martello-White) in prison. Later they meet up with another couple, Julian (Nicholas Pinnock) a peaceable activist, and his Irish girlfriend, Fallon (Denise Gough) and head to the pub. Elsewhere, Pence - played by Rory Kinnear, channelling his best Afrikaans accent for some unknown reason - is a policeman on a mission. He wants Julian dead and instructs officers to target him during an upcoming demonstration. During the demonstration, police plants make sure trouble starts. During the ensuing melee, the police beat Julian to death.

    An aside - as I write this I am trying to watch the second episode again. It is awful. Utter garbage.

    The fact that this is written by a black person is even more galling. John Ridley, off the back of the critically acclaimed 12 Years A Slave - once again I must admit I was not a fan of that either, though I did not hate it - is an American - and how it shows! - has already received some backlash for casting an Asian Indian, Pinto, in the lead role of a black activist drama, weakly offering that his own real life partner is of Asian descent and a strong woman! If we all decide to write dramas based on the people we like and admire, whilst using historical themes as our context, we can no doubt look forward to a version of Jews being liberated en masse by a black man because some well place writer totally knows a guy who would do that!

    If that was the only issue with this drama, it would be a minor one. An important one, but in the context of the sheer awfulness of the show, a minor one. The sets are good and the clothing, though it would be a poor wardrobe department that could not recreate the seventies look with so much material and pictorial material available. The music? What the hell are they listening to?!I never such music in an English black household.

    Though actors are always struggling for work and black actors even more so, I can only believe that on seeing this, that there are many black actors who feel they dodged a bullet.

    I thought perhaps it was my age, as I was only a small child when this was set in the early seventies, but it is too terrible to be that. Ridley, for some reason known only to himself, decides that in the U.K.- in the early seventies - that Indian Asians, African blacks, West Indian blacks, Irish and Afro-Americans all hung out together, fighting against a near apartheid-like police force and their own liberal minded brethren!

    He introduces gun play - they can't get any money together but they can get a gun?! - in the first episode. This is set in England! Nineteen seventies England! Gun was not easy to come by and if a black person had shot a white person of uniform - Marcus shoots an ambulance man - in the seventies, they would have called out the army!

    Now suffering episode three - oh god! - they are trying to mix with Marxist!

    This show is so mind-numbingly dreadful that I am struggling to find enough adjectives to describe it. It is meandering, clichéd, indulgent, unbelievable, dreary, uninspired, mistaken and pointless. I really do not recommend this show, not even for curiosity value!
  • This excellently directed and acted series takes an unapologetic look at England's cultural and official reactionary response to immigration from former colonies. With the beginning of self rule in Africa and the last vestiges of colonial power fading into the horizon, all British citizens are forced to choose what the face of the next British century will look like. Guerrilla succeeds by placing this localized struggle in a broader global context. The struggle for human rights has many stories and battles. By watching Guerrilla you will understand what this looked like in England - with all if it's ugliness out in the fresh air for reexamination.
  • The erasure of a BW is more than enough for 1 stars. So disappointed that they didn't think it was important to use a black women as the main character and the director thought it was no big deal because he is married to an Indian. So glad that this film series is not succeeding the way it should be and I really hope that it stays that way. Will not be supporting this utter trash.
  • Whilst race relations in the U.K were not ideal in the 70s you can take it as read the Police force was not made up of Rhodesians and South Africans bent on imposing apartheid nor did they murder protesters in cold blood in front of the general public (there would, anyway, be easier ways of dispensing with enemies). Nor was there a bomb planting, machine gun toting hybrid of the Black Panthers and Red Brigade. Given that race relations are pretty good and young people are extremely gullible this is dangerously divisive rubbish. Idris Elba has benefited from England's cosmopolitan society more than most and should know better. Every single English white person in the entire series is portrayed as a thug at best, psycho at worst. The Baader Meinhof financiers however seem delightful
  • james-s-0713 April 2017
    Best series to come out of England in years . Shows what it was like back in the old days . You need to watch this it will teach you a lot about the history. The actors are well picked you will know a lot of them from lots of various TV shows and films . Really shows how this was a horrible time to be black and how much the world has changed for the good
  • As a Canadian I am glad to see some historical series that is retro but not in the USA. The producers did a excellent job in making this series. The actors do a good job of capturing the emotions tied to the issue of racism and equality.

    Also I am glad the female character is of South Asian descent, which is a refresher because usually it is that everyone is white or black.

    But this time we get the point of view from a very different character whose background is more complex then we realize.
  • Guerrilla is following in the trend of casting a nonblack woman opposite a black male lead. In this instance, 12 years a slave producer Riley overlooked the much more realistic casting of Lupita, who played a raped slave, to cast a virtually unknown and moderately talented East Indian actress Pinto in the leading female role. It is clear that his choice isn't based on historical events even though the setting is within a historical context, the black power movement in the UK; rather it was purely cosmetic reasons as if a black woman is not marketable.

    Although there is some evidence of East Indian male leaders' involvement in the black power movement, there exists none that demonstrates Indian women at the forefront of the Movement. In contrast, there clearly were a significant number of black women who helped build, lead, and maintain the Movement, and their involvement isdocumented. Ridley claims that his choice of an East Indian woman was based upon his personal relationship with his Asian lover, who he claims is a fighter. This trend of casting nonblack women in leading roles does a disservice to black actresses.

    In fact, this appears to be a trend that is exclusively occurring among black male actors, e.g. Will Smith, Idris Elba, Mike Colter, Denzel Wasington, Omari Hardwick, etc. In this instance it is a misrepresentation of history. It would have been fantastic to see Lupita make the transition from a beaten, raped, slave to that of a guerrilla in the armed struggle for liberation of her people, but apparently she didn't meet the cosmetic criteria. I understand and support black women for boycotting it.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    What with all the 1-star-reviews? A lot of haters here. This is not a bad series. Definitely not. And what's with criticizing the casting of an Indian woman? Black or Indian, it doesn't matter if it fits. As a matter of fact, the consultants on this show (who were very much involved in *the cause* back in the day suggest that there used to be an Indian woman (and Indian men too) very much involved in the matter. I like the fact that Ms. Pinto's in this. Criticism about the casting of an Indian woman instead of a black woman could be considered racism or oppression, the very thing the characters in the story were fighting.

    Blatant racism, inequality (gender, race or nationality) are parts of our everyday lives, anywhere. Sometimes less, sometimes more, depends on where you live. A fact no one can argue. I get that there's a flood of programs, series and reports on the subject right now, which is sometimes very annoying to say the least (mostly low quality stuff and propaganda are annoying of course). I'm not a fan or follower of the Black Lives Matter Movement. Being an immigrant myself, I support basic human decency and equality among all people. Not just one group.

    And what's with all the 9 and 10-star reviews? There's a whole scale here people. This is not an 8, 9, 10 out of 10. It's an interesting series undoubtedly, but nothing new. Watch the Baader Meinhof Komplex. Also Rory Kinnear is a good actor and a good villain. One of the things I don't like here is that his character is involved with a black woman, who's his informant. A little bit too much and unnecessary.

    All in all, not too great, but better than most. I'll definitely keep watching since there will only be 6 episodes. I expect the characters to die or go to prison, with maybe one of them leading a life in exile somewhere. 6.5/10
  • RealReviewer198121 April 2017
    Great story, beautiful cast and amazing acting. Its portrayal of educated black people is great. A few angry black woman are trolling the cast because the lead isn't a black woman and this is shameful and unfounded. Id like to point out for every 1 show or movie with a black man/ white woman cast there are 10 with a black woman and white man ie dr who, Scandal, Evertthing everything, monsters ball etc Please grow up and stop being prejudice and disgustingly ignorant .
  • Lots of people worked to root out white racism We avoided getting a segregated society, in most cases.

    This program heroises a bunch of fools who thought that separate black movements were a good idea.

    A movement that pretty much discredited itself.

    When is there going to be a program about the bulk of 1970s radicalism?
  • After half an hour of the first episode I decided to Google reviews of this show and I wasn't completely surprised to find that there were quite a few negative reviews of 'Guerilla' and most of them came from the UK.

    I'm going to add to them. It's terrible: imagine a Quentin Tarantino directed version of 'Love Thy Neighbour' or 'Till Death Us Do Part' and you aren't far off. Clichés abound, historical accuracy is irrelevant, all of the characters are stereotypes and it was so dire that I think even one star is doing it a favour.

    Britain in the early 1970s wasn't perfect, but 'Guerilla' is terrible and could only be improved with a laughter track. Utter, utter nonsense. Avoid.
  • John Ridley is an intelligent and progressive visionary. He is a master of addressing sociopolitical issues both past and present while tackling on controversial subject matters in a compelling manner. Brilliant acting, writing, and production design. It is Emmy worthy on all levels. Freida Pinto and Babou Ceesay give electrifying & impressive performances in these roles. I was blown away. This is among the best and most important mini-series out there now. He has been effective in providing amazing representation to all minorities from different backgrounds. He is a pioneer and a brave soul.

    The backlash that ignited against Guerrilla and John Ridley, that reflected a bigoted outlook on interracial romances between Asian women and Black men really disturbed me as well as an ignorant attitude towards a historical movement where Asians were involved in the Guerrilla/civil rights movement. Ironically, the people who attacked John Ridley are the ones who are expressing a prejudiced attitude, and are not being inclusive to the other minorities who were part of this movement. The media doesn't want to shed a light when some POC are being racist towards other POC. Discrimination exists in all communities where people do not want to be inclusive yet ironically pretend to be "fake woke" while abusing the race card while being racist themselves. I was so saddened about the backlash and hate that John Ridley & Freida Pinto is still being targeted with. The controversy against this series is manufactured, ignorant, and hateful.

    John Ridley did NOT erase black women from this movement just because he casted an Asian woman as Jas Mitra as the female lead, which is the actual correct PC casting given that he is giving representation to the hundreds of Asians ( specifically Indians) who were part of this struggle. This reductive spin tarnishing an excellent mini-series with controversy and backlash is very upsetting to read. Neil Kenlock did back John Ridley up as well as other historians can back up him if people do their research because there were other minority groups such as South Asians, Caribbeans, and even Latinos that participated in the British Black Power movement. He said in other interviews that he was inspired by Darcus Howe and Farrukh Dondy's friendship, who was an Indian who was part of the original Black Panthers.

    Yes, there were Asians who were part of The Black Panthers and John Ridley is groundbreaking in lending in a voice to a character that represents this. He went with an interracial romance instead of a bromance and I can imagine how much these accusations have hurt him considering he is in an interracial marriage with an Asian woman. The media is misportaying him as "shading black women" in a number of slanderous articles when the truth is that he DEFENDED himself to a group of militant radicals who happened to be some black women,at a press conference, who were embodying a racist mentality against the series over the female lead being Indian instead of Black. Then when he explained himself intelligently, there was a mob being disrespectful while this group continues to troll him online by misportraying the situation. He is a proud Black man who has casted o so many wonderful Black actors and actresses in many roles both in film and on TV, so this is absurd.

    They are spinning what he said out of context, he referred to his own interracial marriage with his Asian activist wife to defend the interracial relationship on his show as well as had consultants who were part of the movement who defended the fact that Indian men & women were part of this movement. There were a number of prominent Asians who were members of the original Black Panthers. He is still being harassed on twitter and sites by certain prejudiced individuals in this community who are spreading hate against this series.

    Zawe Ashton is a Black actress and she is excellent in Guerrilla. There is representation of Black women on this show but a militant group is protesting with hateful attacks because it does not suit their agenda of a Black female being the main protagonist or lead. There are tons of shows featuring prominent Black female characters and interracial relationships but barely any featuring Asians which shows a double standard here.

    This is a fictionalized account of two characters that has some historical background, it is not a biographical piece. There is a lack of Asian women who play leads on any TV programs especially South Asian women. John Ridley has always been progressive in showing different types of representation for all minorities. It is Hollywood who has erased Asian women as being part of civil rights movements in history for years so John Ridley is being groundbreaking in providing that presentation and letting it be known that Asians were involved with The Black Panthers. You can look at any of his previous work including American Crime where Black female characters were crucial to the narrative so those accusations and hate against him is unfounded. I am reading a lot of racist commentary online from certain segments of a community who are being anti-Asian and are offended by a Asian woman being the lead or being in a relationship with a black character. Black people are still mostly the main characters in Guerrilla so I do not see the issue. There are many shows and series on TV that feature Black females as the leads. There are rarely any Asian leads on dramas. People need to be open-minded instead of aggressively imposing their agenda at the expense of other people. Guerrilla is a six episode mini-series, obviously not every type of representation would be provided in detail
  • Warning: Spoilers
    I was unfamiliar with the story depicted in Guerilla though it is only loosely based on a true story from what I gather. I had heard about controversy hitting the show before it aired with its depiction of black women. I stuck with it knowing it would only take six episodes and the finale was a few days ago by the time I post this so as one might be able to tell, it wasn't a priority. The show is not as explosive as some other Showtime series and doesn't have a sense of urgency trying to tell a grand story in only six episodes. I found some of the acting interesting though I do think the casting could have been better. Idris Elba as Kent is great as he always is in any role he takes on but he has only a few scenes in the early episodes.

    The story revolves around the romance of Jas Mitra (Freida Pinto) and Marcus (Babou Ceesay). Jas admires his drive to make a difference and helps him break out another radical Dhari (Nathaniel Martello-White). Jas had a relationship with Kent but doesn't like how he takes a more passive approach to resisting the racial profiling and acts of the British Parliament. Kent doesn't like the racial profiling but takes a different approach to resistance. He cooperates with the officer investigating the couple and leads them to a hideout.

    Check out more of this review and others at
  • akatic-218693 December 2018
    Started promising and then fell of a cliff ,what a waste of a great cast.
  • I wanted to like this. I don't get Sky Atlantic so bought the DVD for 10 pounds. I was 11 in 1971 so know to some extent what things looked and sounded like then.

    The whole tone of the thing is false.

    Britain was a racist society then (still is to some extent?) but I don't believe news reports would sound like they were National Front members. I used to watch a British TV show called Special Branch (ITV),it was set in London in the 1970s and it got the jargon and the look right. More recently the BBC did a drama called THE YEAR London BLEW UP,it was great,captured the era perfectly.

    I was not surprised when I found out the writer is American,he has obviously done some research but he could have done with some local input. I will stick with it,I am half way through it,it might work as a drama but I wish it was more realistic.
  • So it seems this waste of time isn't neither an accurate historical description nor a good entertainment! So what is it? I mean if you want to dismiss the events as they truly happened and choose instead to reshape things on a whim you have to at least put on a strong scenario to back it up but it seems that this isn't the case. Now the only thing John Ridley can do is to cry himself a river again since it seems that it's only thing he manages to do when things don't go his way.
  • The strength of the names in front of camera and behind it was what brought me to watch this series, despite not knowing much about the story. Our focus is a group of young people who break a political prisoner out of jail, forming a terrorist cell, and fighting directly against the Government and Police's attempts to quash any black power uprising in the UK in the 1970s. As a world it sounds interesting, and it is all delivered with high production values and a sense of time. However it doesn't hang together tonally or in terms of content – and I'm not sure why.

    We jump around with characters and tones for the whole 6 hours. At times it is almost playful, others tragic; it focuses on messy romantic relationship and affairs; but it doesn't manage to produce a sense of things building as a whole – but rather it remains fragmented across characters, situations, and tone. It does do enough to be engaging, but it is never really compelling or gripping, and I think this is down to its construction as a drama. As I say, cast and production values are all good and plenty to comment on, but they are mostly well served in the moment rather than the sweep.

    That said, for all its faults, it is too well made to be bad; I enjoyed it while also wanting more from it – and the conclusion felt like a cop-out to get a second season, while also getting rid of its biggest scheduling challenge if it did go ahead.