“I wanted to prove them wrong, that in fact they are the origin story and that United States racism is just the continuation of a long history of Eurocentric domination,” he told the Guardian via phone from Paris. “If Baldwin’s words are not sufficient to understand what it is about, what else can? I felt the need to even go to a broader scope of the story of racism and white supremacy.”
His new HBO series Exterminate All the Brutes is a sweeping journey back through some of the most horrific moments in civilization over the past half-millennium to trace the roots of humanity’s worst impulses: genocide, slavery, fascism, white supremacy, colonialism. Written, directed and narrated by Peck, the four-hour series (pruned down from 15 episodes) is scaffolded by the ideas of three cornerstone texts: Sven Lindqvist’s Exterminate All the Brutes (examining Europe’s genocidal colonization of Africa), Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz’s An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States (the first history of the country told from the perspective of indigenous peoples) and Michel-Rolph Trouillot’s Silencing the Past (an analysis of power and silence in history, focusing on Haitian history). The work of the three authors, who are credited in the opening titles, serves as a lodestar in the same way Baldwin’s writing did in I Am Not Your Negro.
The documentary looking at the Bantu expansion out of West Africa. With a certain concentration upon the experiences of the Khoi San, the Bambenga and so on. Wouldn’t that be interesting?
The story of an Iron Age and farming people taking over the lands of the previous Neolithic inhabitants?
D’ye think Channel 4 might fund it?