New Film: Göran Hugo Olsson’s “Concerning Violence”


The Sundance Film Festival calls Göran Hugo Olsson’s Concerning Violence (2014; Sweden, USA, Denmark, Finland) a “bold, fresh, and compelling visual narrative about the African liberation struggles of the 1960s and 1970s.” “Concerning Violence” is the title of the first chapter of Frantz Fanon’s seminal 1961 book Les Damnés de la Terre (The Wretched of the Earth); it offers a fresh look at Fanon’s theories on the psychological effects of the paradigms of colonization on society.

Description: Concerning Violence combines newly discovered archival material depicting some of the most daring moments in the confrontation with colonial power, accompanied by singer Lauryn Hill’s searing narrative and drawn from psychologist/philosopher Frantz Fanon’s seminal anticolonial text, The Wretched of the Earth.

In this potent, arresting, and surprisingly emotional film, Olsson artfully elucidates Fanon’s psychiatric and psychological analysis of the dehumanizing effects of colonization on the individual and the nation. Concerning Violence makes accessible Fanon’s theory that the violence of colonialism must be met with greater violence to be defeated, as well as his vision and plea to reject the lust for colonial power and instead embrace a more creative and humane society. As a result, Olsson’s powerful documentary makes an accurate, timely, and vital contribution toward building a better world for the future.

Göran Hugo Olsson’s previous film at the Sundance Film Festival, The Black Power Mixtape 1967–1975, won the 2011 Documentary Editing Award and became a huge hit in festivals and theatres and on television throughout the world. Prior films include Am I Black Enough for You (2009) with the artist Billy Paul. Since 1999, Olsson has been a member of the editorial board of Ikon South Africa, a platform for creative documentaries by township filmmakers in South Africa in cooperation with the South African Broadcasting Corporation

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