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Jemima + Johnny (1966)


Warning: screenonline full synopses contain 'spoilers' which give away key plot points. Don't read on if you don't want to know the ending!

London, 1966. A new immigrant family is given a lively welcome by family and friends in Notting Hill. In the streets white nationalists give out leaflets and preach against immigration. The new family is from the Caribbean with a little girl called Jemima, and the white nationalist has a son, Johnny.

Johnny and Jemima tentatively check each other out and soon hit it off. Johnny guides Jemima through the neighbourhood. In the wastelands away from the houses they find a dead pigeon. They tenderly bury the pigeon then eventually hitch a ride on the cart of a rag and bone man. In spite of the prevailing racial tensions, the white adults treat both children warmly, including Johnny's mother, who gives Jemima a sandwich.

Back in the neighbourhood, Johnny takes Jemima to his secret hideout in a derelict building. Snug in Johnny's den they dance to an old phonograph.

Jemima's parents realise that their child is missing and become distressed. They alert the police. A search party is sent out including Johnny's father and the police. Their collective weight causes the floors in the building to collapse.

Johnny's father risks his life to rescue his son, and in spite of his racist views he saves Jemima as well. As he carries Jemima to the street, he grudgingly acknowledges his new black neighbours.