Too Black to be French

A film by Isabelle Boni-Claverie

France | 2015 | 52 minutes | Color | DVD | French | Subtitled | Order No. 161189

SYNOPSIS

In this documentary film, Isabelle Boni-Claverie explores the role of race and the persistence of racism in France, as well as the impact of the French colonial past. Through an exploration of her personal family history, and interviews with historians and academics, TOO BLACK TO BE FRENCH peels back the layers of race relations in supposedly institutionally colorblind France.

Boni-Claverie, a French-Ivorian, who grew up in upper class French society, unpacks how socio-economic privilege doesn’t mean protection from racial discrimination. Boni-Claverie solicits anonymous individuals to speak on their daily experiences with race, class, discrimination and micro-aggressions. TOO BLACK TO BE FRENCH also features interviews with acclaimed sociologists and historians including Pap Ndiaye, Eric Fassin, Achille Mbembe, and Patrick Simon to help contextualize racial history in France. Boni-Claverie’s film starts an urgent discussion on French society's inequalities and discrimination.

PRESS

TOO BLACK TO BE FRENCH is a compelling documentary that discloses, in a frank and honest way, a rarely seen example of racism outside of the U.S. Focusing on the popular debate about racism as it relates to nationality, colorism and classism, the filmmaker’s attempt to discover her own French roots takes the viewer along on her journey. Addressed from this very personal perspective makes the experience that much more captivating, yet alarming.

Michelle Materre Assc. Professor, The New School, and Curator, Creatively Speaking Film Series

SCREENING HIGHLIGHTS AND AWARDS

  • New York African Film Festival
  • International Film Festival & Forum on Human Rights Geneva

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