June 2014

"Concerning Violence"

by Göran Hugo Olsson, opens 18 September accompanied by the "CINEMA fairbindet" Roadshow

[Translate to english:] Bilder aus Concerning Violence

"Concerning Violence – Nine Scenes from the Anti-Imperialistic Self-Defence" is both an archive-driven documentary covering the most daring moments in the struggle for liberation in the Third World, as well as an exploration into the mechanisms of decolonization through text from Frantz Fanon’s "The Wretched of the Earth". Fanon’s landmark book, written over 50 years ago, is still a major tool for understanding and illuminating the neocolonialism happening today, as well as the violence and reactions against it. In the middle of the Cold War, radical Swedish filmmakers set out to capture the anti-imperialist liberation movements in Africa first hand. With their 16mm footage, found in the Swedish Television archives, filmmaker Göran Hugo Olsson draws on his experience making The Black Power Mixtape (2011) to create a visual narrative from Africa - images of the pursuit of freedom, the Cold War and Sweden. Swedish filmmakers, with their sense of solidarity with anti-imperial and socialist struggles around the world at the time, created images and stories which still resonate today, and can change and deepen our impression of the globalized world we live in.

The people captured by these filmmakers fought with their lives at stake, for their and others’ freedom. The unique archival footage features a nighttime raid with the MPLA in Angola, interviews with the guerrilla soldiers of FRELIMO in Mozambique, as well as with Thomas Sankara, Amílcar Cabral and other African revolutionaries. The imagery is fantastic: clear, crisp and unique films that convey a sense of urgency and dedication that was at the heart of the decolonization movements. "National liberation, national renaissance, the restoration of nationhood to the people: whatever may be the headings used or the new formulas introduced, decolonization is always a violent phenomenon."

In pictures and interviews, as well as with a narrating voice guiding the audience through the material with the words of Frantz Fanon, Concerning Violence tells the story of the people and ideas behind one of the most urgent struggles for freedom and change in the 20th century. The organization of the film into nine chapters connects quite abstract ideas with concrete images and real people who embody and carry the story. Crafting a form that is unique in its blend of cinematic essay and archival footage documentary, Concerning Violence re-introduces Fanon’s humanist, post-colonial vision through a cinematic journey that brings us face to face with the people for whom Fanon’s writings on decolonization were not just rhetoric, but a reality. In layering Fanon’s text with archive footage, graphic design and music in a contemporary tone, filmmaker Göran Hugo Olsson presents a new generation of audiences with a re-examination of the machinery of colonialism that is at the root of much of the violence we see breaking out in parts of the world today. (Info Production Company)

"CINEMA fairbindet" Roadshow 2014 (for more detailed information please check our German webpage):

Screenings in the presence of the director:
17.09., Berlin, Kino Arsenal, 8pm
19.09., Bonn, Rex-Lichtspieltheater, 6:30pm
20.09. Düsseldorf, Black Box - Kino im Filmmuseum, 8pm
21.09. Uhr Hannover, Kino im Künstlerhaus, 7pm
22.09. Hamburg, Abaton, 8pm

Screenings with discussions, talks & guests:
18.09., Frankfurt, Orfeos Erben
18.09., Leipzig, Cineding
18.09., München, Maxim
21.09., Berlin, Eiszeit
23.09., Marburg, Capitol Kino
25.09., Saarbrücken, Filmhaus
26.09., Tübingen, organised by the Arab Film Festival Tübingen
09.10., Wasserburg / Inn, Kino Utopia
12.10., Nürnberg, Filmhaus im Künstlerhaus
20.10., Göttingen, Lumière
28.10., Köln, Filmpalette
07.11., Dresden, Kino Thalia
08.11., Oldenburg, Cine K
09.11., Osnabrück, Cinema-Arthouse
13.11., Karlsruhe, Kinemathek Karlsruhe
13.11., Dortmund, Kino im U
24.11., Wiesbaden, Caligari Filmbühne
26.11., Freiburg, Kommunales Kino
02.12., Bremen, City 46
November (tbc), Weiterstadt, Kommunales Kino

More information about the film and the english trailer can be found here.

Göran Hugo Olsson studied film at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Stockholm and subsequently began working as a documentary filmmaker and cinematographer. He is also co-founder of the short documentary television programme Ikon (SVT) and Ikon South Africa. Screened at the Berlinale in 2011, his documentary THE BLACK POWER MIXTAPE 1967-1975 enjoyed enormous success worldwide.

"Concerning Violence" was awarded this year's CINEMA fairbindetat the Berlinale. The award recognizes an outstanding feature or documentary film, which inspires by the cinematic creativity. The award-winning film focuses on global development and human rights issues contributing to intercultural dialogue and encouraging audiences to discover new perspectives. More information on the CINEMA fairbindet award (in German only).

Statement of this year's CINEMA fairbindet Jury: "Frantz Fanon's historical text about colonialism, strikingly narrated by Lauryn Hill, combined with a unique use of archival material creates a powerful and poetic contemporary film. The director has produced an impressive work by transforming theoretical and complex ideas into a cinematographic, emotional experience. He gives us surprising insights into the state of our world today. This mesmerizing film reminds us that violence remains a central challenge to humanity." The jury consisted of Rania Stephan, Djo Munga and Ernst Szebedits.

The release and roadshow of the film are supported by the "CINEMA fairbindet" award, financed by the Bundesministerium für wirtschaftliche Zusammenarbeit und Entwicklung.

The project 'CINEMA fairbindet' is organized by the
Deutschen Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ)

In cooperation with: Bundeszentrale für politische Bildung/bpb

Media Partner: DW-Akademie

Country/Year: Sweden/USA/Denmark/Finland 2014, Running Time: 85 Min., Format: DCP, Colour & Black and White, Original Version with German Subtitles
With: Lauryn Hill (Narrator), Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak (Prologue)
Director and Screenplay: Göran Hugo Olsson, based on Frantz Fanon's "The Wretched of the Earth" ("Les damnés de la terre"), Editor: Michael Aaglund, Dino Jonsäter, Göran Hugo Olsson, Sophie Vucovic, Sound Design: Micke Nyström, Art Director: Stefania Malmsten, Produzenten: Annika Rogell, Tobias Janson, Co-Producers: Joslyn Barnes, Monica Hellström, Miia Haavisto, Otto Fagerstedt, Ingemar Persoon, Danny Glover