It's very rare that a documentary filmmaker explaining the intent behind their latest project feels like their gaze is boring into our souls, but such is the case with Raoul Peck's statement about his new documentary Exterminate All the Brutes, which aims to clarify the history of human civiization as propagated by white supremacy. That's what makes this something to see.
The trailer was already intense, and given the subject matter, you'd expect it to be, as Peck is attempting to trace white supremacy over the past 600 years in one film in an effort to have an impact similar to his previous work, I Am Not Your Negro, based on the work of James Baldwin.
"James Baldwin's words had basically firebombed every known field of bigotry I knew, and had annihilated any attempt at deniability of the racist monster that lurks in corners of our societies," Peck says. "But despite the film's success, I found out that there were still vast territories of resistance, innocent stubborness, and sheer ignorance laying around, and I felt that I had to tackle this. I had to address the even bigger picture. I had to find the foundation of it all and deconstruct it from the ground up."
Exterminate All the Brutes premieres Wednesday, April 7 on HBO Max.
Andy Hunsaker has a head full of sitcom gags and nerd-genre lore, and can be followed @AndyHunsaker if you're into that sort of thing.