Frantz Fanon: Black Skin, White Mask
Time Out saysA fine introduction to the life and work of the Frantz Fanon (1925-61), the Martinican-born, Paris-educated author, intellectual and activist. Isaac Julien and co-writer Mark Nash's study shows the influence of Derek Jarman's similar work on Wittgenstein. Mixing the talking heads (notably Stuart Hall), interviews with relatives, co-workers and friends, and archive footage, clips and reconstructions, they have produced a clear résumé of Fanon's ideas, but also something rarer, a strong, affecting sense of the man's complex personality. With his interest in violence, black identity and psychiatry (it was Fanon's professional work with war-damaged 'natives' and French soldiers in early '50s Algeria that was to revolutionise his politics, leading him later to join the FLN), Fanon is in many ways a perfect subject for Julien, enabling him to pursue themes that have figured in his work since Territories in the early '80s. In many ways this is the director's most mature film and not without the lyricism of his earlier discursive documentaries. Fanon died young (of leukaemia), just before the publication of The Wretched of the Earth, the analytical manifesto which became the freedom fighter's bible.