Review of Black Skin, White Masks Frantz Fanon’s astounding debut novel, Black Skin, White Masks (1952), originally titled An Essay For The Disalienation Of Blacks, defined colonialism and its effect on the black man and took him further into the region of the human mind. After taking a position at a psychiatric hospital in Algeria, he became involved in its war, eventually deserting his cranial post to become a full-time militant in the Algerian National Liberation Front, and stemming from this period he penned his infamous manifesto, The Wretched Of The Earth. A failed assassination attempt years later confirmed his potency.
This complex documentary also reveals the hypocrisies and inconsistencies lurking within Fanon, the most surprising of all, when he married a white woman. Part reconstruction, part archive, Black Skin, White Masks features rare footage of the man himself and experts attest to his brilliance including Professor Stuart Hall, Francoise Verges, psychoanalyst Alice Cherki, psychiatrist Jacques Azoulay (who worked and studied with Fanon), Fanon's brother Joby, Mme Felix Fanon, and his sister-in-law and niece and finally cultural critic Homi K Bhabha offers valuable insight into Fanon's relevance today. Isaac Julien's absorbing ode to Frantz Fanon is a fitting tribute and in breathtaking homage and style he offers the truth, the poetry, the bitterness of history and a glowing epiphany to the man himself..