Black Skin, White Mask (PG)
Dir: Isaac Julien | UK | 1996 | 72 mins
Documentary with Colin Salmon
Isaac Julien and Mark Nash’s celebrated experimental docudrama about the Afro-Caribbean psychiatrist and revolutionary. Starring British actor Colin Salmon as Fanon, and incorporating reconstructions, archive footage and interviews with major theorists and writers (including Stuart Hall, Françoise Vergès and Homi K Bhabha), it investigates the highly influential writer’s life and output and is named after his most famous work, Black Skin, White Masks (1952), which described the intimate psychological effects of colonialism.
Together, artist and filmmaker Isaac Julien (Looking for Langston, Young Soul Rebels) and curator and producer Mark Nash (Documenta 11) undertake an intellectual and poetic exploration of Fanon’s life and legacy, from his early years in Martinique (then a colony of France) to his professional life as a psychiatric doctor and revolutionary in Algeria during its bloody war of independence with France. Fact and fiction are mixed in a complex web of stylistic approaches and narrative devices in a film as pioneering and multifarious as Fanon himself.
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