×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Frantz Fanon: Black Skin White Mask

Frantz Fanon, the charismatic black intellectual, psychiatrist and revolutionary whose essays and books influenced the anti-colonial and civil rights movements throughout the world, is celebrated in "Frantz Fanon: Black Skin White Mask." Combining archival footage, interviews and dramatic re-enactments, Isaac Julien's intellectually and emotionally involving film deserves a limited theatrical release on the specialized art circuit and in campus towns and is destined to travel the international festival road. A provocative meditation on every level, "Frantz Fanon" represents a logical follow-up to Julien's previous films, "Looking for Langston" and "Young Soul Rebels." Thematically, new item continues to explore Julien's fascinating, cutting-edge ideas on multiracial urban culture, the effects of diaspora and the intersection of racial difference and desire. And like his previous works, "Frantz Fanon" makes a strong case for blurring the conventional distinction between documentary and fiction cinema, resulting in a work of rare intelligence and poetic force.

With:
Narrator: Colin Salmon.

Born in the French colony of Martinique in 1925, Fanon went to France to study medicine and psychiatry. In 1952, he published his book “Black Skin White Mask,” in which he developed his anti-colonialist platform about the complex relationship between masters and slaves, showing not only the polarity of power but also the mutual dependency — specifically, the masters’ dependency on recognition from their slaves and the notion that racism is a denial of that recognition.

Embraced by Paris’ literary circles, headed by Jean-Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir, Fanon developed an ambiguous attitude not only toward his position as a black supported mostly by white intellectuals, but also toward his own sexual desire and identity; he was attracted to white women and had some homosexual affairs.

Sartre went on record claiming that it is “through Fanon’s voice that the Third World finds and speaks for itself.” And among the contemporary critics interviewed for the film, Brit Stuart Hall describes Fanon’s book “The Wretched of the Earth” as “the bible of the decolonization movement.” Indeed, Fanon became so politically engaged that he left his position as psychiatrist in an Algerian hospital to join the Algerian National Liberation Front, hence igniting the ire of the French army, which declared him a traitor. Algeria gained independence in 1961, just months after Fanon’s untimely death from leukemia.

Film draws parallels between Fanon’s life, and assimilation illusions, as an exile in Paris and the course of the anti-colonial movement. Structured as an intricate pastiche of archival footage and new dramatic re-creations, “Frantz Fanon” boasts a richness and complexity that do full justice to the stature of the man it commemorates.

Frantz Fanon: Black Skin White Mask

British

Production: A Normal Films production. Produced by Mark Nash. Directed by Isaac Julien. Screenplay, Julien, Mark Nash, based on Frantz Fanon's writings.

Crew: Camera (color), Nina Kellegren, Ahmed Bennys; editors, Justin Krish, Nick Thompson, Robert Hargreaves. Reviewed at Sundance Film Festival (World Cinema), Jan. 21, 1997. (Also in Berlin fest --- Panorama.) Running time: 70 MIN.

With: Narrator: Colin Salmon.

More Film

  • Bertrand Tavernier Hosts Night of Cinema

    Bertrand Tavernier Hosts Night of Cinema Inspired Orchestra in Paris

    Flanked by UniFrance president Serge Toubiana and the National Orchestra of France, filmmaker Bertrand Tavernier stood before a rapt crowd at Paris’ Maison de la Radio this past Saturday to introduce an evening dedicated to French film scores called “May the Music Begin!” That moniker – a reference to the original French title of his [...]

  • Orange Studio Sells Out 'Serial (Bad)

    Orange Studio Sells Out 'Serial (Bad) Weddings 2,' 'City Hunter' (EXCLUSIVE)

    Paris-based Orange Studio has nearly sold out its two French comedy highlights, Philippe de Chauveron’s “Serial (Bad) Weddings 2” and Philippe Lacheau’s “City Hunter.” “Serial (Bad) Weddings 2,” which opened the UniFrance Rendez-Vous in Paris last week, is the sequel of the smash hit film which grossed over $148 million worldwide. The movie has been [...]

  • Danmarks Sønner, en film af Ulaa

    Trailer for Rotterdam Competition Opener 'Sons of Denmark' Released (EXCLUSIVE)

    Variety has been given exclusive access to the trailer for the opening film of Rotterdam Film Festival’s Tiger Competition, “Sons of Denmark.” The film is a political thriller set in Denmark in 2025, a year after a bomb attack in Copenhagen, when ethnic tensions are running high. An ultra-nationalist politician, Martin Nordahl, and his National [...]

  • Operation Red Sea review

    Chinese Entertainment Industry Braces for a 'Cold Winter' in 2019

    Winter is here for the Chinese entertainment industry, a half-dozen top-tier industry professionals concurred in Beijing at the launch last week of Tencent Entertainment’s annual data-filled white paper. China’s box office hit new heights in 2018, raking in about $9 billion, but it was also a year of drastic regulatory changes and a government tax [...]

  • Indie Sales Acquires Martin Lund's Nordic

    Indie Sales Acquires Nordic Coming-Of-Age 'Psychobitch' (EXCLUSIVE)

    Paris-based company Indie Sales has acquired Martin Lund’s Norwegian coming-of-age drama “Psychobitch” which is headlined by Elli Rhiannon Müller Osbourne (“Utoya: July 22”). “Psychobitch” marks the first feature film of Martin Lund, who made his debut with “Twigson Ties the Knot,” a local box office hit, and followed up with “The Almost Man,” which won [...]

  • Studiocanal has sold Jean Paul Gaultier's

    Jean Paul Gaultier's 'Freak And Chic' Documentary Sells For Studiocanal (EXCLUSIVE)

    Underscoring the strength and scope of French fashion designer Jean Paul Gaultier’s legacy around the world, the documentary “Jean Paul Gaultier Freak And Chic,” which chronicles the making of Gaultier’s ongoing popular show in Paris, has been luring distributors in key markets. Sold by Studiocanal and produced by Capa, the documentary has already been picked [...]

  • Korea Box Office: 'MAL·MO·E' and 'Inside

    Korea Box Office: 'MAL·MO·E' and 'Inside Me' Remain on Top

    There was no change at the top of the Korean box office, as local titles “MAL·MO·E: The Secret Mission” and “Inside Me (a.k.a. The Dude in Me)” dominated a second weekend. Lotte’s “MAL·MO·E” earned $4.79 million from 618,000 admissions between Friday and Sunday for a total of $16.7 million from 2.23 million admissions after two [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content