When I first saw that a film maker has made a film about the most contumacious chapters I have ever read and that it is being narrated by the one and only Lauryn Hill, my world stood still. In a thoughtful article on Dazed Digital, we learn of how Lauryn Hill came to narrate this most controversial subject matter. When she was in jail for tax fraud this year, she re-read Frantz Fanon’s The Wretched of the Earth (I mean as one should. That’s exactly what I would do), which is the larger body of work that houses Concerning Violence, the chapter that the film of the same name, is based. I actually borrowed a copy of Black Power Mixtape, the archival footage film that made the Swedish film maker Göran Olsson, famous in the first place. Concerning Violence: Nine Scenes from the Anti-Imperialistic Self-Defense is his second film, and like the first, is a rolls of footage from the colonial era whose sound byte is Lauryn Hill reading the text from Fanon’s famous colonial theory bible. Eery, providing very little room to run away from the truth.
The Wretched of the Earth provides clear and hard hitting insights into colonialism/apartheid, how it works, how it is executed and a prophetic theory on how it all comes crashing down, eventually. I have highlighted the places which talk about non-violence, compromise and the emergence of saints who are used to confuse people the free colonies and it’s as if Fanon, who died in 1961, was the doctor to a world wide disease, one who could describe its symptoms and dealt the drugs to heal it. What happened in South Africa between 1990 and 1994 is pretty much laid out there like a guide. It’s hyper-relative and quite frankly, a little scary. I am yet to see this film but I am very exblockquoted by the thought of it. Please also do yourself a favour and read this compelling review of the film in The Guardian. I agree with most of what Bhakti Shringarpure says except what he says about Jean Paul Satre’s preface. I don’t believe Satre was over-exaggerating, I felt that the hammer finally met the nail’s head in that preface, a letter to the colonizer. And of course, if you have not yet read this book, it is available at Exclusive Books.
These kinds of doccies never come out on normal circuit and I highly doubt that this one will make it to your local mall. I don’t know where to find it, probably iTunes when it comes out in October.
A little part of me feels uncomfortable about posting such serious content on here. But it’s not as discomforting as being silent while the world around you starts to make sense.