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Cannes 2012: Raoul Peck Talks Cinema As A Power Trip & Giving The Under-Represented A Voice

Shadow and Act By Courtney | Shadow and Act May 24, 2012 at 5:47PM

We have no right to speak in the name of others without legitimacy. Africa, for example, often serves as a backdrop in movies. Yet we see nothing of Africa, we don’t understand its problems. I think that we must get accustomed, and accustom our audiences, to other viewpoints. To adopt this stance, we must understand their problems, put ourselves in their shoes and, with certain humility, give them a voice. The cinema should be conceived in that way. Otherwise it remains a power trip. It is just a question of being ethically and politically sound.
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Raoul Peck

We have no right to speak in the name of others without legitimacy. Africa, for example, often serves as a backdrop in movies. Yet we see nothing of Africa, we don’t understand its problems. I think that we must get accustomed, and accustom our audiences, to other viewpoints. To adopt this stance, we must understand their problems, put ourselves in their shoes and, with certain humility, give them a voice. The cinema should be conceived in that way. Otherwise it remains a power trip. It is just a question of being ethically and politically sound.

Words from Raoul Peck, the Haitian filmmaker (Lumumba, Moloch Tropical, Sometimes In April) in an interview at the Cannes Film Festival this week, where he is a member of the Jury, which I don't think has been mentioned on S&A.

He's the only jury member of African descent this year, which I think is noteworthy.

I especially love the above quote because it sums up nicely what S&A has been calling out against for as long as I can remember, and will continue to do.

Cinema - a power trip. I like how he put that. It's very clear. But will the kind of change he's calling for ever become a reality? Maybe not tomorrow, but I think it has to as we witness gradual shifts in power around the world, as what were once considered 2nd or 3rd world countries, are starting to utilize whatever leverage they have to advance - in some cases, quite methodically. 

Read the rest of the interview with Raoul Peck HERE.

This article is related to: Cannes Film Festival


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