If I remember my film studies correctly, Frantz Fanon was the writer, philosopher, theorist and psychiatrist who penned the methodical book Black Skin, White Masks on the negative psychological impacts of racism and colonization on black people in society; rudimentary stuff to us now, but revolutionary in its debut.
In fact, the writer had even more incendiary material in him for another book called The Wretched of the Earth, wherein he supports the use of violence by colonized or indigenous people in protests or struggles for human rights, as a direct nose-thumbing to oppressive powers who consider them less than human. Not surprisingly, Fanon's book was censored at the time, but proved to be highly influential to indigenous struggles around the world, and filmmaker Goran Olsson based his documentary Concerning Violence on the tome's major themes applied to the struggle for independence in Africa. Olsson's documentary, not released or even available in the United States, will be brought to El Centro Cultural de Mexico in SanTana by Colectivo de Mujeres Migrantes Unidas (Collective of United Migrant Women) this Saturday.
Concerning Violence takes from Fanon's book to analyze the deep power mechanisms that exploit colonized peoples alongside a visual study of Third World Africa's movement towards liberation in the 1960s through the '70s. Olsson utilizes hours of 16mm footage shot by him and other Swedes documenting the political upheaval in various pockets of Africa of the time and singer Lauryn Hill narrates passages from Fanon's text. And as the title and suggests, the subject matter depicts a very turbulent culture: violence is very much a huge part of this film, although not in the gory sense, but its a study of violence perpetrated by colonizers and colonized in response, and the aftermath.
Olsson's previous release The Black Power Mixtape 1967-1975 similarly focuses on racism in American society and the black social movements, intellectual and otherwise, tackling it through the late 1960s (also worth checking out). Concerning Violence isn't even available in the United States, so CoMMUn had to directly contact the filmmakers to obtain a copy. The event will conclude with a panel conversation among the CoMMUn and other activists working to bring change in their communities.
If you like this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters.
SHOW ME HOW
You have successfully signed up for your selected newsletter(s) - please keep an eye on your mailbox, we're movin' in!
Peep the trailer for Concerning Violence below, and grab more information on the screening here.
Concerning Violence screens Saturday, 7 p.m. at El Centro Cultural de Mexico, 313 N. Birch Ave., Santa Ana.