13 March 2014 5:07 PM, PDT | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

Documentary film-maker and political activist best known for Blacks Britannica and Occupied Palestine

The Oscar-nominated documentary-maker and political activist David Koff, who has died aged 74, was remarkable in that his work made waves on four continents. Best known in Britain for his film Blacks Britannica (1978), which portrayed the UK as a profoundly racist society, he also caused controversy with his trilogy about colonialism and its after-effects in Africa, his documentary Occupied Palestine (1981) – which led to a bomb threat at its premiere – and his more recent exposés of the plight of migrant workers in the Us.

A tall, striking, figure with a pony-tail and beard, he was a familiar sight on picket lines and demonstrations throughout California. Behind the calm and genial manner was a steely resolve. His films, like his politics, were concerned with the underdog, the immigrant or the dispossessed – people who Koff felt did not have a voice. »

- Duncan Campbell

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