Burning an Illusion

Date: 1981
Director: Menelik Shabazz
Production Company: British Film Institute (BFI)

Stars: Cassie McFarlane, Victor Romero Evans, Beverley Martin, Angela Wynter, Malcolm Fredericks, Corinne Skinner Carter
Location(s): London



A young black woman in England becomes increasingly frustrated with her life with her lazy, demanding boyfriend, and with the help of friends seeks something better.

Additional Information:

Screen captures uploaded by Phil Wilkinson


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After meeting his girlfriend's parents, Delroy Bennett (Victor Romero Evans) steers Pat Williams (Cassie McFarlane) towards a photo booth at the station.

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Pat and Sonia (Beverley Martin) walk through a market whilst out shopping.

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Pest (Trevor Laird) begins to follow the two women.

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When he catches up, Pest harasses Pat.

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Chamberlain (Malcolm Frederick) flirts in full view of his girlfriend Sonia.

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Sonia discusses Chamberlain's behaviour with Pat and Cynthia (Angela Wynter).

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Chamberlain turns his attention to Sonia.

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Ignoring Chamberlain's calls, the friends walk away.

Pat presses Del about the two settling down together. Trellick Tower on Golborne Road, Kilburn, London W10. The building was seen in 'Steptoe and Son', 'The Moon Over the Alley' and 'Pressure'.

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Taken from the north end of Golborne Road. SJ

The camera tilts up the block to find Pat's 27th floor flat where Del has moved in. Trellick Tower in North Kensington.

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SJ also tilting.

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The relationship is put under pressure after Del loses his job.

Del chases after Pat as she ignores him on her way home from work. Wade Bayliss has identified this as Portobello Road, London W11 looking towards the junction with Lancaster Road. (RL)

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The busy location now by Tris.

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Pat carries on walking as Del catches up.

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Instead of finding another job, Del hangs out with his friends.

As Pat suffers in the deteriorating relationship, she speaks with Cynthia. Soho Square in W1.

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Little change apart from a paint job or is it a window rethink? SJ

The two friends continue walking as Del plays cards with his friends back at the flat. Soho Square W1.

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Packed with lunch-timers enjoying the August sunshine. SJ

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Pat starts life afresh after throwing Del out of her flat when the situation became violent.

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The camera follows Cynthia and Pat.

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The pair wait to cross the road as they talk about Cynthia's pregnancy and her man, Tony.

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It seems that Pat's life is empty and that Cynthia has everything.

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Musing over the things that she wants out of life,Pat leaves her friend.

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Pat leaves the work for the day.

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After attempting to call her earlier, Del spots his ex-girlfriend outside the office.

Del tries to reason with Pat as he follows her home. The bridge runs between Acklam Road W10 and Tavistock Crescent W11 and The Tavistock Arms public house, to the right, was demolished in 2010. The location was seen in 'Duffer' 'The 14', 'Innocent Meeting' and 'Col cuore in gola'.

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The same location with an updated bridge. (PW)

The two begin to get along again.

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Golborne Road and Southam Street, W10. SJ

Del is questioned about women that he has been seen with. Beneath Trellick Tower on Golborne Road in W10.

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The post-box has been moved. SJ

Pat tells Del to behave himself as the two head to her flat. Facing north-east on Golborne Road. The location is seen with earlier buildings across the road in 1967's 'Bedazzled'.

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. . . as it turns into Kensal Road at the corner. SJ

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Outside the Tip Toe club, Chamberlain starts to hit Sonia when he sees her talking to an old schoolfriend and the police are called.

Pest approaches as Pat waits for a lift to the prison where Del is being held. Wade Bayliss has also identified this capture, Portobello Road, London W11 at its junction with Oxford Gardens. (RL)

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Tris captures the same corner with more activity.

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Cynthia and Tony (Larrington Walker) arrive in their car. A different angle of 029 says Wade. (RL)

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Outside the prison, Pat waits to see Del, who is serving four years for slashing an officer when police arrived at the club.

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Neighbours stand around and their children play as Sonia tells Cynthia about her new boyfriend.

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Sonia asks Pat if she will wait for Del whilst he's in prison.

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Pat attends the carnival where she tries, and fails, to forget about Del. That looks like the Westway and this appears to be the corner of Cambridge Gardens and Portobello Road in W10.

When Del asks Pat to get books for him, his political interest starts to rub off on her. Golborne Road in London's Notting Hill.

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Identifiable despite changes. SJ

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Now a down and out, Pest walks away when Pat offers him help from the organisation of which she's a member.