Concerning Violence

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Concerning Violence
Sundance film poster
Directed byGöran Olsson
Written byGöran Olsson
Based onConcerning Violence
by Frantz Fanon
Produced byTobias Janson
Annika Rogell
Narrated bySwedish release:
Kati Outinen
English release:
Lauryn Hill
CinematographyLis Asklund
Bo Bjelfvenstam
Ingrid Dahlberg
Lars Hjelm
Roland Hjelte
Stig Holmqvist
Per Källberg
Lennart Malmer
Ingela Romare
Leyla Assaf Tengroth
Edited byGöran Olsson
Michael Aaglund
Dino Jonsäter
Sophie Vukovic
Final Cut for Real
Helsinki Filmi Oy
Distributed byFilms Boutique
Release dates
  • 17 January 2014 (2014-01-17) (Sundance)
  • 15 August 2014 (2014-08-15) (Sweden)
  • 5 December 2014 (2014-12-05) (US)
Running time
89 minutes[1]
United States

Concerning Violence is a 2014 documentary film written and directed by Göran Olsson.[2][3] It is based on Frantz Fanon's essay, Concerning Violence, from his 1961 book The Wretched of the Earth.[4] American singer and actress Lauryn Hill served as the narrator in the English-language release of the film,[5][6] while Finnish actress Kati Outinen provides narration for the original Swedish release.[7]

The film is an international co-production between Sweden, Finland, Denmark, and the United States.


The film narrates the events of African nationalist and independence movements in the 1960s and 1970s which challenged colonial and white minority rule.


The film premiered in-competition in the World Cinema Documentary Competition at 2014 Sundance Film Festival on 17 January 2014, after being pitched at the 2012 MeetMarket at Sheffield Doc/Fest.[8][9]

In May 2013, Films Boutique acquired the worldwide distribution rights to the film.[10] The film also screened at 64th Berlin International Film Festival in Panorama Dokumente section, in February 2014.[11][12] It won a prize at the festival.[13] The film also premiered in competition at 2014 Göteborg International Film Festival on 30 January 2014.[14]

It had a theatrical release in Sweden on 15 August 2014.[15] It was released in the UK on 28 November 2014[16][17] and in the United States on 5 December 2014.[18]


Concerning Violence received positive reviews upon its premiere at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival. Review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes gives the film a 90% rating based on reviews from 31 critics, with an average score of 7.5/10.[19] On Metacritic, which assigns a weighted mean rating out of 100 reviews from film critics, the film holds an average score of 86, based on 5 reviews, indicating a 'Universal acclaim' response.[20]

Kevin Jagernauth of Indiewire praised the film and said that "Concerning Violence suggests that the lesson has yet to be learned, and it's only a matter a time until history repeats itself again, and action is taken."[21] Joshua Rothkopf of Time Out gave the film four stars out of five and said that "A pulsing, echoing trumpet blast-repeated throughout-and some in-your-face political carnage identify Concerning Violence for what it is: a prickly, passionate call to arms."[22] Boyd van Hoeij in his review for The Hollywood Reporter called the film "A tough and cerebral but finally illuminating documentary about the decolonization of Africa."[23] Dan Schindel of Movie Mezzanine gave the film a positive review and said that "Concerning Violence is one of the best documentaries to hit this year's Sundance. It also acts as an excellent companion piece to We Come As Friends, another great doc about imperialism in Africa that's been playing the fest. It stands alone both as a work of history, sociology, psychology, and philosophy" and adds that the film is "A poetic, thought-provoking visual essay."[24]


Year Award Category Recipient Result
2014 Sundance Film Festival World Cinema Grand Jury Prize: Documentary Göran Olsson Nominated
64th Berlin International Film Festival Cinema Fairbindet prize Göran Olsson Won[13][25]
Göteborg International Film Festival Dragon Award Best Nordic Documentary Göran Olsson Won[26]
Hong Kong International Film Festival Golden Firebird Award Göran Olsson Nominated
Jihlava International Documentary Film Festival Best World Documentary Göran Olsson Nominated[27]
Munich International Documentary Festival Viktor Award Göran Olsson Nominated[28]
Oslo Films from the South Festival Best Documentary Feature Göran Olsson Won[29]
Sheffield International Documentary Festival Special Jury Award Göran Olsson Nominated[30]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "CONCERNING VIOLENCE (15)". British Board of Film Classification. 3 November 2014. Retrieved 24 November 2014.
  2. ^ "Exclusive: Provocative Teaser Trailer For Sundance Documentary 'Concerning Violence' Narrated By Lauryn Hill". 10 January 2014. Retrieved 14 April 2014.
  3. ^ "Interview: 'Concerning Violence' Director Goran Hugo Olsson on Depicting Revolution and Knowing His Audience". Archived from the original on 21 April 2014. Retrieved 14 April 2014.
  4. ^ "Fanon documentary confronts fallacies about anti-colonial philosopher". 21 July 2014. Retrieved 25 November 2014.
  7. ^ "Berlinale Goes Documentary". 18 February 2014. Retrieved 25 November 2014.
  8. ^ "Sundance 2014: World Cinema Documentary Competition". 10 January 2014. Retrieved 18 January 2014.
  9. ^ "Concerning Violence - Director Göran Hugo Olsson". 16 January 2014. Retrieved 14 April 2014.
  10. ^ "Films Boutique visits the Louvre with Sokurov". Retrieved 12 April 2014.
  11. ^ "Berlin Film Festival's Panorama Section Completes Lineup". 17 January 2014. Retrieved 12 April 2014.
  12. ^ "Berlin completes Panorama Dokumente line-up". Retrieved 12 April 2014.
  13. ^ a b "64th Berlin Film Fest: List of official and independent juries' awards". Retrieved 12 April 2014.
  14. ^ "Concerning Violence". Retrieved 12 April 2014.
  15. ^ "Concerning Violence (2014)". Retrieved 25 November 2014.
  16. ^ "Concerning Violence: watch a clip from the documentary about colonialisation, narrated by Lauryn Hill - video". The Guardian. 4 November 2014. Retrieved 25 November 2014.
  17. ^ "Concerning Violence". Archived from the original on 18 November 2015. Retrieved 25 November 2014.
  18. ^ "CONCERNING VIOLENCE". Retrieved 25 November 2014.
  19. ^ "Concerning Violence (2014)". Rotten Tomatoes. Flixster. Retrieved 18 January 2021.
  20. ^ "Concerning Violence (2014): Reviews". Metacritic. CNET Networks. Retrieved 25 November 2014.
  21. ^ "Sundance Review: 'Concerning Violence' An Intelligent, Bracing Look At The Dynamics Of Colonial Power". 24 January 2014. Retrieved 14 April 2014.
  22. ^ "Concerning Violence - Film Review". Retrieved 14 April 2014.
  23. ^ "Concerning Violence: Sundance Review". The Hollywood Reporter. 19 January 2014. Retrieved 14 April 2014.
  25. ^ "The Awards of the 64th Berlin International Film Festival" (PDF). Retrieved 12 April 2014.
  26. ^ "Dragon Award Best Nordic Documentary Winners". Retrieved 12 April 2014.
  27. ^ "Concerning Violence Göran Hugo Olsson". Retrieved 25 November 2014.
  28. ^ "DOK.fest". Retrieved 25 November 2014.
  29. ^ "Awards Films From the South 2014". Retrieved 25 November 2014.
  30. ^ "Sheffield Doc/Fest 2014 Awards Announced". Archived from the original on 19 August 2014. Retrieved 25 November 2014.

External links[edit]