Exterminate All the Brutes

Last night I watched the new HBO documentary series, Exterminate All the Brutes, conceived and directed by Raoul Peck. It has received rave, enthusiastic reviews from all the usual suspects. Wikipedia notes:

 Exterminate All the Brutes received positive reviews from film critics. It holds a 82% approval rating on review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, based on 17 reviews, with a weighted average of 8/10. The site’s critical consensus reads, “While Exterminate All the Brutes perhaps packs a little too much into its limited runtime, it remains a powerful, necessary examination of the horrors of historical colonialism and its lingering impact on the world today.”  On Metacritic, the series holds a rating of 82 out of 100, based on 12 critics, indicating “universal acclaim”

Visually stunning and cinematically innovating, this four episode personal visual screed is exactly what one would expect from the director of a laudatory biopic on The Young Karl Marx.  Ideologue Peck is the Leni Riefenstahl of our time. Her personal epic, Triumph of the Will (Triumph des Willens) the 1935 documentary is considered the propaganda feature film of all time, deifying Adolf Hitler as the Aryan messiah and liberator of the German people. Raoul Peck is now her rival in producing such agitprop.

His powerful film consciously manipulates selected ahistorical distortions of world history concerning its singular focus upon white supremacy, colonization, and genocide to outrage and misinform its target audience. In its discussion of genocide and indigenous peoples, there is nothing about the horrific murderous conduct of pre-Columbian indigenous peoples such as the Aztecs or Incas in reference to other peoples of the Americas, nothing concerning the barbarism of Genghis Khan and his imperial conquests stretching across Asia to the borders of Europe. Nothing about the genocidal seven century Trans-Saharan Arab slave trade prior to the Europeans where tens of millions were captured and transported to the Middle East to await horrific servitude and death (young boys selected as future eunuchs were brutally castrated, both penis and scrotum without antiseptic — millions died en route, while young women were taken to the harem/rape rooms and their newborn babies slaughtered) or about the continual Arab Muslim enslavement of Europeans long after slavery had been abolished in the Americas. Nothing about the populating of the North American colonies and the West Indies with millions of white slaves, sold on the action block, and treated with abominable and callous disregard.

In its focus on more recent history there is nothing about the genocidal campaign of the virulently racist Japanese empire in the Second World War in China, where over ten million persons deemed inferior were slaughtered, nothing about the Rape of Nanking, the singular atrocity which surpassed the Nazis’ European genocide in intensity and concentrated extermination of “the other.” And of course there is nothing in the documentary series of the incalculable genocide of Communist regimes of the Twentieth Century targeting over 100, 000, 000 of their own citizens for slaughter and destruction. Nothing about the alliance of Hitler’s National Socialist Germany and the Socialist Soviet empire under mass murderer Joseph Stalin and their mutual culpability for creating the greatest catastrophe of slaughter in world history, with over seventy million slain, and millions more having their lives shattered and irreparably damaged.  No, an ideologue such as Raoul Peck would never bring attention to these inconvenient and inescapable brutal facts of history.

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10:33 am on April 10, 2021

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