Raoul Peck has been called many things: “political”, “postcolonial public intellectual”, and a provocateur. But he is, of course, best known as a filmmaker and one of the most incisive and powerful ones working today.
Born in Haiti, because of his father’s profession working at the U.N., he and his family traveled constantly from the Congo, to the U.S. and to France, which might explain why he makes films like “Sometimes in April” and “Moloch Tropical” which explore universal concerns, and how the powerful forces of politics, nature and personalities, mold and shape his characters and their actions, no matter in what country they’re in.
Since his first film, “De Cuba Traigo Un Cantar,” a short made in 1982 about singer and composer Carlos Puebla and his group, Peck has, to date, made some 20 films, both features and documentaries, and is currently working on a documentary on James Baldwin, who he first read at the age of 14, and who has been a major inspiration.
He has won numerous awards and has been on film festival juries around the world, including Cannes and Berlin, and currently splits his time between his homes in Paris, Haiti and New Jersey.
Now, next month, from Dec. 3-11, the British Film Institute at the Southbank Centre in London will have a week long retrospective, perhaps the first ever of Peck’s films, called “Stolen Images: People and Power in the Films of Raoul Peck.”
The series will consist of 8 films personally selected by Peck himself, which deal with African and Haitian images and representations in movies, along with a discussion with Peck. There will also be a tribute to Peck by film programmer June F. Givanni, titled “Raoul Peck: A Pan-African Filmmaker”.
If you’re lucky enough to live in London, or will be there during the retrospective, you can find out more about it here.