A new documentary from Swedish director Göran Hugo Olsson examines the work of Frantz Fanon and creates a larger discussion regarding Africa’s decolonization. The film, titled “Concerning Violence,” has opened to rave reviews on the film circuit and brings new attention to Fanon’s 1961 book, “The Wretched of the Earth.”
Throughout the film, jarring images of violence in the name of revolution stand out. Fanon himself was an ardent supporter of Africa’s independence, and alleged in his book that the violence surrounding colonization ultimately begins with the colonizer and not the oppressed people. Being a member of the Algerian National Liberation Front as well as a supporter of the Algerian War of Independence from France also cemented that legacy.
Olsson full documentary title is “Concerning Violence: Nine Scenes from the Anti-Imperialistic Self-Defense” and focuses squarely on a chapter of Fanon’s posthumously released book of the same name. Much as Olsson did with his critically acclaimed “Black Power Mixtape” documentary, he uncovers old footage and centers it around the Martinique-born, Algerian-French Fanon’s work.
Some readers consider Fanon’s work as a piece that celebrates violent uprising, as noted in a recent report from the Guardian. Olsson’s documentary looks at the period between an African nation’s independence and the aftermath of such uprisings, featuring texts from Fanon and voice-over work from singer Lauryn Hill. Actor Danny Glover, who served as a co-producer for the “Black Power Mixtape” film, returns as a co-producer for this work.
Fanon is one of the world’s most-celebrated philosophers, especially those with Marxist ties. Fanon died from luekemia in 1961, the same year of the release of “The Wretched of the Earth.” The book was published in English in 1963.
Watch a clip from “Concerning Violence” below: