Concerning Violence, film review: Probing the relationship between coloniser and colonised

(15) Göran Hugo Olsson, 89 mins
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The Independent Culture

The Swedish director Göran Olsson's fascinating and provocative documentary is inspired by Frantz Fanon's 1962 book about decolonisation, The Wretched of the Earth.

The book was hugely controversial for its advocacy of violence. The film unfolds in nine chapters, each exploring themes from Fanon's book and combining archive footage with snippets of Fanon's writing, read out by Lauryn Hill.

The footage ranges from white colonialists at leisure (white teenagers playing golf with black caddies carrying their clubs, old folk at the bowling green), to Robert Mugabe warning the whites in newly independent Zimbabwe that their privileges will be rescinded, and imagery of colonialist soldiers and rebel freedom fighters.

Olsson's approach isn't doctrinaire. Like Fanon, his interest is in probing the relationship between coloniser and colonised in psychological and philosophical terms.