i'm sloane & i like to look at things and read things and go places that may or may not exist.
I’ve wanted to write about this scene for years without knowing how to—just watching it and holding it close, then holding it further from me until I can bear to hold it close again. And still now, I don’t know how to write my way into this scene, into this film. Into the look on Yu’s…
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I highly recommend Bhakti Shringarpure’s review of Concerning Violence (2014) on Warscapes:
Concerning Violence, a documentary by Swedish filmmaker Göran Hugo Olsson, opened to a packed theatre at the Sydney Film Festival last week, and despite being a powerful film, it did not close to the enthusiastic cheers and applause that other films had. Gayatri Chakravarty Spivak, scholar of postcolonial studies and a legend in her own right, offers a monotone introduction to the film. Spivak’s short lecture on Martinican psychiatrist and anticolonial thinker Frantz Fanon appropriately ushers viewers into the universe of this documentary, which is decidedly academic, theoretical, pedagogical and, to some degree, experimental.
Concerning Violence ends on a powerful note bound to leave you with a knot in your stomach. Lest our daily brush with the news, with the forces of globalization, consumerism and capital, with all this new interconnectedness and our (undoubtedly valid) criticism of the imperial United States distract us, Fanon reminds us that Europe is at the root of all our problems today, and it is Europe to which we are ideologically and materially enslaved. The camera moves swiftly through the center of a massive gathering of people in tattered clothing, emaciated, looking expectantly into the camera—the wretched of the earth, literally—as Fanon’s most damning words appear on screen:
From all these continents, under whose eyes Europe today raises up her tower of opulence, there has flowed out for centuries toward that same Europe diamonds and oil, silk and cotton, wood and exotic products. Europe is literally the creation of the Third World. The wealth which smothers her is that which was stolen from the underdeveloped peoples. The ports of Holland, the docks of Bordeaux and Liverpool were specialized in the Negro slave trade, and owe their renown to millions of deported slaves. So when we hear the head of a European state declare with his hand on his heart that he must come to the aid of the poor underdeveloped peoples, we do not tremble with gratitude. Quite the contrary; we say to ourselves: “It’s a just reparation which will be paid to us.”
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A Visitor to a Museum / Posetitel Muzeya ( Konstantin Lopushansky, 1989)