With his Oscar-nominated documentary I Am Not Your Negro, director Raoul Peck upended film conventions, basing his film on James Baldwin’s unfinished manuscript “Remember This House,” and exploring the history of racism in the U.S. through a mixture of documentary footage, archival material, animation, and scripted scenes to create a truly singular documentary. He’ll be expanding on those experimental techniques with his new HBO docuseries Exterminate All the Brutes, which seeks to explore colonialism and its wide-reaching ramifications, including the renewed rise of white supremacy. Watch the Exterminate All the Brutes trailer below.
Exterminate All the Brutes Trailer
“There is something we need to talk about. Three words that summarize the whole history of humanity: civilization, colonization, experimentation. This is the origin of the ideology of white supremacy.”
Peck does not mince words in what looks to be a searing documentary series that picks up on the filmmaker’s experimental techniques and blazing rhetoric of his Academy Award-nominated doc I Am Not Your Negro. Exterminate All the Brutes will weave together the scripted and unscripted footage, including “interpretive scripted scenes,” led by actor Josh Hartnett (Die Hart, Penny Dreadful).
Similarly to how literature inspired I Am Not Your Negro, Peck bases Exterminate All the Brutes on three books: Sven Lindqvist’s Exterminate All the Brutes, Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz’s An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States, and Michel-Rolph Trouillot’s Silencing the Past.
“As writers, creators, filmmakers we have no choice but to try and reflect our societies and give some sort of analysis of them the best way we can,” said Peck in a statement. “And as artists, we need to break the limits of our art.”
The four-part documentary series is produced by Velvet Films, with Peck and Rémi Grellety serving as executive producers. Sara Rodriguez serves as senior producer for HBO, with Lisa Heller and Nancy Abraham also on board as executive producers.
Here’s the official description for Exterminate All the Brutes:
A four-part series that provides a visually arresting journey through time, into the darkest hours of humanity. Through his personal voyage, Peck deconstructs the making and masking of history, digging deep into the exploitative and genocidal aspects of European colonialism – from America to Africa and its impact on society today – challenging the audience to re-think the very notion of how history is being written.
The series will debut on HBO on April 7, 2021, with the final two episodes airing back-to-back Thursday, April 8 at the same time. All four episodes of the series will be available to stream on HBO Max on April 7.
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