Sunday, October 16, 2022

New French Documentary Release “Black Wild West: A Counter-History of the West”


Black Far West - English title

Black Wild West: A Counter-History of the West – English title


A French documentary-production [ARTE, Capa (Paris)]

Producer: Patrice Lorton

Director: Cécile Denjean

Story: ?

Cinematography: [color]

Music: Siegfried Canto

Running time: 97 minutes

Bottled up in the white and political rewriting of Hollywood, our collective unconscious has adopted a largely distorted version of the conquest of the West, which gives only a tiny place to African Americans. Yet in 1875, one in four cowboys was black, and more than 250,000 blacks fought in the American Civil War. The Wild West will have, for many former slaves, allowed greater freedom than African Americans will experience during the following century. But how to guess that the character of the Lone Ranger, a fictional hero dear to American popular stories, was probably inspired by Bass Reeves, the first black sheriff and incorruptible pistolero, when the actors who popularized him, in soap opera or on the big screen, were white? Reeves' story deserves to be told, as does Britton Johnson's. This former captive, who went in search of his family kidnapped by the Indians, inspired John Ford to play the role entrusted to... John Wayne, in The Prisoner of the Desert, a film far from the Manichaeism of the westerns of the golden age of Hollywood.


Trailer link:

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