The history and culture behind carnival gets top billing in this enlightening film


London’s Notting Hill is home to Europe’s premier and biggest street festival, with people from all over the world arriving to celebrate this unique spectacle. But carnival is bigger than the Bank Holiday weekend festivities. A whole culture and history exists and is exhibited through the many preludes to the main event such as the costume galas, calypso competitions, steel band contests and preparing to masquerade or “play Mas”.

This film follows six people as they prepare for and converge on the Notting Hill Carnival, ranging from 11 -year-old Juanita Constantine, a gala hopeful, to the returning veteran, Rudolph Crosnierde Bellaistre, a Parisian reveller.


BBC TWO, 1994