A set by guest curator Christine Otten

  • set 5 films

Writer Christine Otten (1961) will interview  director Raoul Peck after the screening of his documentary I Am Not Your Negro on May 2. The author, known for her social commitment, last year published her book We had Love, We Had Weapons, on civil rights activist Robert F. Williams. Otten picked five IDFA-docs on civil rights movements and racism, which can be watched online.

Christine Otten had her breakthrough in 2004 with the publication of The Last Poets, which was nominated for the Libris Literature Award. "I write because I don't want to be locked into my own world, my own life, my own body', she says. "By writing novels I can be someone else, a man, or black, old, or once again a child, a Muslim, a criminal, a musician, a psychiatrist. I write because I want to be connected to other people."

The work of Otten consistently shows a strong commitment. In Rafaël she wrote about the true love story between a girl from Brabant and her Tunisian lover. The Last Poets pictured the lives and loves of a group of black poets from Harlem in the sixties and seventies. Her book We Had Love, We Had Weapons, reconstructed the life of Robert F. Williams, an American civil rights activist who fought for equal rights for black and white, during the segregation.

Christine Otten is also a performer, and she initiates and presents successful literary programs like Bijlmer Boekt! She also worked as a journalist for, among others, De Groene Amsterdammer and Vrij Nederland.

Find more information on I Am Not Your Negro and tickets for the IDFA-special here.

Films in this set

What Happened, Miss Simone?

  • Liz Garbus
  • 2014

The turbulent life story of Nina Simone, the spokeswoman for black America in the 1960s.

Paris Is Burning

  • Jennie Livingston
  • 1990

An intimate portrait of a 1980’s Ball culture, a world in which the allure of high fashion and just plain fitting in becomes an affirmation of love, acceptance and joy.

Street Fight

  • Marshall Curry
  • 2005

A disillusioning lesson in American democracy, illustrated by the mayoralty race between two black Democratic candidates in Newark, New Jersey.

3½ Minutes, Ten Bullets

  • Marc Silver
  • 2015

A 17-year-old African-American dies in an argument over loud music. The course of events elicits questions on gun ownership and racism.

George Wallace: Settin' the Woods on Fire

  • Daniel McCabe, Paul Stekler
  • 2000

Portrait of the influential American politician George Wallace, symbol of southern racism.