Controversial Black Lives Matter film hailed at Venice - GulfToday

Controversial Black Lives Matter film hailed at Venice


Director Nate Parker poses with cast members and director Spike Lee.

Controversial US director Nate Parker said Monday that he hopes his powerful new film about police violence against black men will help save lives.

"American Skin" received an eight-minute standing ovation after it premiered at the Venice film festival, with Spike Lee -- who travelled to Italy to support Parker -- comparing its impact to "scoring a goal to win the World Cup or a home run at the bottom of the ninth in American parlance".

The veteran maker of "Do The Right Thing" and "Malcolm X" had earlier declared that "I haven't been affected by a film like this... in a long, long time."

Director Nate Parker reacts on the red carpet.

The movie about a black Iraq war veteran, whose 14-year-old son is killed by police when they stop their car in a wealthy white area, is a blistering indictment of institutional racism.

It culminates in the avenging father taking his son's killer hostage and putting him -- and racist police attitudes -- on trial after storming his local precinct.

'Tone deaf' about rape case

Parker's acclaimed debut 2016 film about a slave revolt, "The Birth of a Nation", was derailed after it emerged that he was accused of raping a fellow student while at university. She later killed herself.

Director Nate Parker poses with director Spike Lee. 

Parker's presence added further flames to a row raging at the festival over the inclusion of a new film by Roman Polanski, who has spent decades as a fugitive from US justice for the rape of a 13-year-old girl.

Feminists have also deplored the decision to add the director's cut of Argentinian-French director Gasper Noe's controversial 2002 rape shocker "Irreversible" to the line-up.

Before the Venice premiere, Parker admitted that he had been "tone deaf" to sensitivities around the case after he was acquitted.

Agence France-Presse


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