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Black Sheep

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Everything changed for Cornelius Walker on the 27th November 2000 when Damilola Taylor was killed in what became one of the UK's most high-profile murder cases. Damilola was eleven - the same age as Cornelius. He lived five minutes away. He had the same colour skin.
Cornelius’ mother, scared for her son’s safety, moved their family out of London. Cornelius suddenly found himself living on a white estate run by a white gang.
Racism ruled. And Cornelius soon found himself the target of extreme verbal and physical racial abuse. But rather than fight back, Cornelius decided to become more like the people who hated him. He started to wear the same clothes they wore. He changed his accent. He straightened his hair and wore bright blue contact lenses. He even started to bleach his skin Cornelius tried to become white.
The white gang became his family and kept him safe. And in return, Cornelius became submerged in a culture of violence and hatred. But as the violence and racism against other blacks continued, Cornelius struggled to marry his real identity with the one he had acquired.
Filmed with non-actors in the same locations where the real events took place 15 years ago, BLACK SHEEP blurs the boundaries between documentary and fiction to pose difficult, but highly topical, questions about race and identity. Who decides what makes us who we are? And what compromises are we prepared to make in order to fit in?
Official Selection Hot Docs 2018 - World premiere
Official Selection Sheffield Doc/Fest 2018 - Winner, Best Short Documentary
Academy Awards 2019 - Oscar Nomination, Best Documentary (Short Subject)


Type of film
Running Time
26 mins 40 secs
Ed Perkins
Simon Chinn, Jonathan Chinn
Vanessa Tovell
Executive Producer
Charlie Phillips, Lindsay Poulton
Ed Perkins
Director of Photography
Michael Paleodimos
Production Designer
Guy Thompson
Tom Barnes
Principal Cast
Kai Francis-Lewis


Production status


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Last updated 27th March 2019

Production Company

10 Amwell Street
+44 (0)20 3750 0922


The Guardian
Charlie Phillips