First Run Features presents Myth of a Colorblind France, a new documentary by Alan Govenar.
For more than a century, Black 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 the newcomers? And to what extent was and is France truly colorblind?
Myth of a Colorblind France 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, and Lois Mailou Jones, and includes rare home movie footage of Henry Ossawa Tanner in Paris.
Myth of a Colorblind France features interviews with French scholars Michel Fabre and Francis Hofstein, as well as sculptor and author Barbara Chase-Riboud, 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.
"Artistry Abroad! A history of eminent African-Americans who have lived in France, interweaving the thoughts of Black artists residing there today with the stories of historical figures who traveled to the country beginning in the 19th century. This is a huge subject." -Ben Kenigsberg, THE NEW YORK TIMES
“A must-see for anyone interested in Paris, history, and Black lives and culture - then and now.” -James van Maanen, TRUSTMOVIES
Directed by Alan Govenar
86 minutes, color, 2020
In English & French with English subtitles
Optional English subtitles for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing