HBO docu-series screens for Arts & Lectures event

Cassidy Lovell, Arts & Entertainment Editor

The American Indian Studies department screened part one of Exterminate All The Brutes on Feb. 23 at 6 p.m in the USU Ballroom. This was the second Arts & Lectures event of the semester. The event was free for CSUSM students, $6 for faculty, staff, and alumni, and $12 for members of the community.

Originally released in April of 2021 through HBO, Exterminate All The Brutes is a four-part documentary series about slavery, racism, and colonization in the history of the United States. It is narrated and directed by Raoul Peck, an acclaimed Haitian filmmaker.

In a previous statement of intent by Peck, he reflected on the idea behind the film, saying “there was still vast territories of resistance, innocent stubbornness, and sheer ignorance laying around, and I felt that I had to tackle this. I had to address the even bigger picture.”

Exterminate All The Brutes is based on three texts: Sven Lindqvist’s Exterminate All The Brutes, Michel-Rolph Trouillot’s Silencing The Past, and Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz’s An Indigenous People’s History of The United States. The film then combines “archival footage, documentary footage, dynamic animation, voice over, and scripted fictional scenes,” according to Peck. The merging of these artistic elements with compelling source texts creates a powerful and striking method of storytelling.

After the screening, a discussion panel began with CSUSM faculty members Dr. Joely Proudfit, Dr. Alyssa Sepinwall, and Dina Gilio-Whitaker, as well as UCLA faculty Kyle Mays and historian Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz. The panel was open for audience questions.

Peck addressed the incorporation of education and message into entertainment, and how these ideas played a role in the creation of the film. “As writers, creators, and filmmakers, we have no choice then to reflect on societies and provide knowledge and challenges in addition to mere entertainment,” said Peck. “And as artists, we need to break the limits of our art. This is what [Exterminate All The Brutes] specifically and concurrently set out to achieve.”

Exterminate All The Brutes is available to watch on HBO. For more information on CSUSM’s Arts & Lectures and upcoming events, visit https://www.csusm.edu/al/index.html

The Cougar Chronicle: The independent student news site of California State University, San Marcos