Myth of a Colorblind France
Run Time: 82 min.
Myth of a Colorblind France explores the extraordinary and sometimes difficult lives of Blacks in Paris from the 19th century to the present. For more than a century, African American artists, authors, musicians and others have traveled to Paris to liberate themselves from the racism of the United States. What made these African Americans choose France? Why were the French fascinated by African Americans? And to what extent was and is France truly colorblind? Alan Govenar’s new documentary investigates these questions and examines the ways that racism has plagued not only Blacks fleeing the United States, but Africans and people of color in France today. The film explores the lives and careers of renowned African Americans who emigrated to Paris, including Josephine Baker, James Baldwin, Richard Wright, Beauford Delaney, Augusta Savage, Barbara Chase-Riboud, and Lois Mailou Jones, and includes rare home movie footage of Henry Ossawa Tanner in Paris. Myth of a Colorblind France features interviews with Michel Fabre (author of a landmark biography on Richard Wright), psychoanalyst and jazz aficionado Francis Hofstein, poet James Emanuel, historian Tyler Stovall, filmmaker Thomas Allen Harris, graffiti artist Quik, hip hop producer Ben the Glorious Bastard, African drummer Karim Toure, and many more.