Frantz Fanon was, in many ways, the Che Guevara of the French-speaking world.
The Martinique-born intellectual/psychiatrist/revolutionary succumbed to Leukemia in 1961. He was only 36-years-old. The very same week he died, his master opus, The Wretched of the Earth, was published. It was immediately confiscated and banned in France. The book cemented Fanon’s status as one of the most important thinkers on the ugly reality of colonization and imperialism. The Wretched of the Earth has inspired liberation movements around the globe since it’s release.
The book is also the basis for the latest film by director Göran Hugo Olsson (The Black Power Mixtape 1967-1975), Concerning Violence. Olsson takes selections from the book, voiced with revolutionary ardor by Ms. Lauren Hill, and superimposes them over recently unearthed footage of anti-colonial struggles on the African continent. Radical Swedish filmmakers shot the haunting and searing footage as the cold war raged and engulfed the world in the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s.
The gripping, poignant and powerful documentary takes a long, unflinching look at the exercise of power by the colonizers in Africa. The film breathes new life into Fanon’s work and exposes a new generation to the work of the revolutionary icon. This is not an easy film to digest but it is nonetheless essential to understanding the Third World and how it came into being.
Concerning Violence opens today, December 5th, at the IFC Center. The Director will take part in a Q&A on Friday December 5th and Saturday December 6th after the 6:00pm shows!