After attempting to contextualize the Black Power Movement, in a format more accessible to a new generation – what we call a “mixtape” hence the title, The Black Power Mixtape 1967-1975 – Swedish director Goran Hugo Olsson will continue on that same path, in a similar style, with his next film, which made its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival this year.
Titled Concerning Violence, and produced by Annika Rogell and Tobias Janson for Story AB, the project incorporates the words from Frantz Fanon’s The Wretched of the Earth, using newly-discovered archive footage (as was the case with Mixtape), to explore what the director refers to as the most daring moments in the struggle for liberation in the Third World, illuminating the neocolonialism happening today, as well as the unrest and the reaction against it.
It’s worth noting that, for those unfamiliar with his writings, in short, the author’s two critically significant works – Black Skin, White Masks (1952) and the aforementioned Wretched of the Earth (1961) – both read like manifestos presenting a utopian vision of a better world where the colonized frees himself/herself and becomes independent of the colonizer, both physically and mentally.
Fanon’s theories were influential during those years, especially on Third Cinema right from its launch in the 1960s, a time of anti-colonial, revolutionary struggles in the so-called Third World, and rising political movements against the dominance of Western countries. Third Cinema, by the way, was a film movement that was formed to address the need for a new kind of cinema that critiqued neocolonialism, Western imperialism and capitalism; An anti-oppression stance that challenged the status quo of political and social power around the world that left the Third World (a term I’ve always taken issue with) at a disadvantage.
So Fanon’s work certainly fits into the discussion that director Olsson seems to want to have in his next film.
Narrated by Lauryn Hill, Concerning Violence is co-produced by Danny Glover.
Watch the 2 clips below: