he works of the Martinican psychiatrist and philosopher Frantz Fanon and the impact on South Africa's post-apartheid political choices of President Nelson Mandela were discussed in two documentary films screened Sunday at the 5th International Film Festival of Algiers (Fica).
Presented as part of the official competition of the festival dedicated to the committed film, "Concerning Violence" by Göran Hugo Olsson of Sweden and "Mandela, The Myth and I" by Southeast African Khalo Matabane proposed two different treatments of the legacy of two figures of the struggle for equality and dignity.
Produced in 2014, the 75-minute "Concerning Violence" is meant to be a "tribute" and "illustration" of the work "The Wretched of the Earth" (1961) Fanon, through a reading of the most striking passages of this book on the anti-colonial struggles and the place of violence in them, accompanied by Swedish newspaper old images of independence fighters in Angola, Tanzania or in Guinea-Bissau.
Chanted by Afro-American singer and actress Lauren Hill, the extracts from Fanon's book (on the intrinsic violence of the colonial system, or that necessary in the struggle for decolonization) are accompanied by interviews of leaders of the liberation movements in those African countries and of ordinary fighters.
In a more personal record and with a critical view, Khalo Matabane speaks to his "childhood hero," Nelson Mandela, in an attempt to understand the consequences of his policy of reconciliation between the Black and White South Africans during his single term as president (1994-1999).
In this documentary, dubbed "brave" by many of the public at the El Mouggar theatre, the director questions the anti-apartheid activists, foreign politicians or parents of victims of racist crimes, trying to draw a portrait of Mandela far from the "sanctified" leader by the West.
With balanced words, "Mandela, The Myth and Me" (2013, 86mn) evokes the questions of pardon, the need for revenge of some victims or the reality of the equality of the White and Black in South Africa today.
The documentary ends with the testimony of young South Africans whose formula "Today, we are free but not equal" refers to the need to continue the struggle of Mandela, while offering a critical and lucid judgment about these political choices.
Eight documentaries and eight fictions are competing in 5th Fica that continues until December 18.