Raoul Peck is a Haitian filmmaker, of both documentary and feature films, and a political activist. Peck is the president of La Fémis, the French state film school, and the former Minister of Culture for Haiti.
His films have been met with critical acclaim. His film I Am Not Your Negro (2016), about the life of James Baldwin and race relations in the United States, was nominated for an Oscar in January 2017. He won the Best Documentary prize at the Trinidad & Tobago Film Festival in 2013 for Fatal Assistance. Peck received international attention for Lumumba, his 2000 fiction feature film about Prime Minister Patrice Lumumba and the period around the independence of the Belgian Congo in June 1960. His 2017 film, The Young Karl Marx, is about the friendship between Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, authors of the Communist Manifesto, during their youth.
Peck began his film career in 1986, when he created the film production company Velvet Film in Germany, which then produced or co-produced all his documentaries, feature films and TV dramas. Peck initially developed short experimental works and socio-political documentaries, before moving on to feature films. His feature L’Homme sur les quais (The Man by the Shore; 1993) was the first Haitian film to be released in theatres in the United States. It was also selected for competition at the 1993 Cannes Film Festival.
A book of screenplays and images from four of Peck's major features and documentary films, called "Stolen Images," was published in February 2012 by Seven Stories Press.
Peck served as Minister of Culture in the Haitian government of Prime Minister Rosny Smarth (1996–97), ultimately resigning his post along with the Prime Minister and five other ministers in protest of Presidents Préval and Aristide. He detailed his experiences in this position in a book, "Monsieur le Ministre… jusqu'au bout de la patience."
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