Top 56 Raoul Peck Quotes

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“It’s not about the past; it’s about knowing your history so that you can fight in the present. Otherwise, you don’t know who the real enemy is, what the real issue is, because it had been covered by many layers of bad information, of lies, and manipulation.”

― Raoul Peck

“We are artists. We are all subjective people; we have a point of view. It doesn’t mean we are right.”

― Raoul Peck

“Even in Haiti, I saw John Wayne movies. American cinema has always been the dominant cinema throughout the world, and people tend to forget that. People aren’t just seeing these films in California or Florida. They’re seeing them in Haiti, in Congo, in France, in Italy and in Asia. That is the power of Hollywood.”

― Raoul Peck

“We are in the middle of a big swamp of ignorance that is taught by a lot of nonsense, propaganda, absurdity, amalgams. I have a hard time listening to any speech. You feel like you want to stop the TV every two seconds to rephrase them, because it’s lie after lie, turning stuff upside down, and you can’t follow that. That’s the trap.”

― Raoul Peck

“I don’t think I ever watched a movie without being totally immersed in the story. But at the same time, I had to keep some distance from it. I had to question what the narrative was trying to tell me or was injecting in my brain.”

― Raoul Peck

“I refuse to make films where the audience comes for consumption. I make films where you know you are also part of the process.”

― Raoul Peck

“If you asked me today if there’s a piece that I would do differently – there’s nothing. Regret happens with all my films.”

― Raoul Peck

“When I left Haiti, I was eight. I went to the Congo where my father was working. The only images that I had were the images of Tarzan. That’s what I thought Africa was. Of course, the first day I arrived there, I thought I would see a lot of savages dancing on the tarmac.”

― Raoul Peck

“I came back to Haiti after the earthquake not to shoot a film, but to help and be a part of the rebuilding process, like all my fellow compatriots. I didn’t come to shoot a film, but I became frustrated when I realized that my help was kind of useless. We all felt lost and helpless. And it’s out of that frustration that I decided to shoot a film.”

― Raoul Peck

“If there is something that determines my motivation in the work I do, it’s the sense of injustice.”

― Raoul Peck

“I never considered myself as somebody in exile because, different to my father who, yes, was in exile because he left Haiti as an adult, for me it was just to be somewhere else. I carried Haiti with me everywhere, but I also carried, you know, my youth in a public school in Brooklyn. It’s part of who I am as well.”

― Raoul Peck

“Film is carrying a lot of ideology. It’s carrying an image. It’s forging an image not only of the rest of the world, but also of yourself, you know.”

― Raoul Peck

“I never wanted to be current in the sense that I follow the news, I follow the historical moment of the day. It was always, for me, to go back to the fundamentals.”

― Raoul Peck

“We forget that everything has a meaning, everything has an impact on you. It’s what we call soft power today. Nothing is innocent.”

― Raoul Peck

“I remember a time when you were protesting on the street together with your professors, with your union, with your school organizations. Everybody was in the streets. Now, everybody is kept alone in his box, in this fragile condition, afraid of losing tenure.”

― Raoul Peck

“We need to learn how to organize, not just to let our anger explode. We need to have organization for the long run, not for one issue, not for one murder, but for everything coming to us in the next 20, 30 years.”

― Raoul Peck

“James Baldwin is probably, for me and for many other people, one of the most extraordinary authors in this country, black or white. And he is somebody who changed my life.”

― Raoul Peck

“We forgot that Martin Luther King, Jr. changed his discourse toward the end of his life because he understood that the real fundamental problem of this country was not just race, it was class. It was the economical situation of not only poor blacks but also the poor white part of the population and everything in between.”

― Raoul Peck

“We ignore our own history. We ignore all these values and valuable people who really changed everything, who sacrificed their own lives for a better America.”

― Raoul Peck

“Right now, the machine keeps us totally busy. If you don’t react against it, you’ll end up letting yourself go and become the perfect consumer. That’s what they want.”

― Raoul Peck

“The only direction I can give to an actor, a good actor who knows his skills, is, ‘Here are those words. They’re yours. Make them yours. Don’t tell the text but be the text.’ That means you have to be the emotion of the text.”

― Raoul Peck

“A black character is much more than just a black character; he’s a character, period. So show the world as it is. Even with all your artistic license, you make a political choice.”

― Raoul Peck

“When you stand up in the morning, you look in the mirror and say, ‘I’m black.’ No. You wake up and you see yourself as a human being in the world, but you raise discussion and raise aggression, the anger that you confront every day of your life, whether you want to or not.”

― Raoul Peck

“You face the reality, whether it’s hopeful or hopeless. What’s your alternative? To lie down and die?”

― Raoul Peck

“Sometimes people ask me, ‘Are you an optimist or a pessimist?’ It doesn’t matter. Whether I have a future or not is for me to decide.”

― Raoul Peck

“I have been skeptical, sometimes, about the importance of rap music, which I think is a capitalistic project to make money.”

― Raoul Peck

“I can’t tell a story just by deciding to tell a story, do it in a didactic way. I need to have my own emotion, to feel, ‘Wow, there is something I can discover, I can create.’”

― Raoul Peck

“I have to make sure, when you start seeing a film, you are going to see it until the end. I have to, of course, entertain you a little bit. The real question is how far do I go?”

― Raoul Peck

“When I started this profession, I wanted to make films that entertain but that have content. When I went to film school, they made me believe that the two could not mix.”

― Raoul Peck

“People don’t realize how black people, minorities, women as well, all their lives, they have had to make the effort to understand everybody else. All my life, I’ve known American culture very well. I probably know American literature more than the average American.”

― Raoul Peck

“I started to read James Baldwin very early on in my life. At a time, as a young adult in the Sixties, when there were not that many authors in whom I could recognize myself, he was an important guide and mentor to me, as he was to many others. He helped me understand who I was and decipher the world around me.”

― Raoul Peck

“I think that James Baldwin is, for sure, one of the most important American writer/thinkers of his time… not just African-American. He singled-handedly revolutionized the political, artistic, and historical discourses about America.”

― Raoul Peck

“There are no free rides nor short cuts in this world. ‘The Voice’ and ‘The Bachelorette’ are very poor examples to model your life with.”

― Raoul Peck

“I just hope that my films will survive me.”

― Raoul Peck

“You’re telling me Beyonce is a revolutionary? Thirty years ago, you had those guys who raised their fists at the Olympic games, and they paid 30 years of their lives because of that gesture. And you’re telling me a superstar who put one fist in the air is a revolutionary? But that’s the superficiality of this time.”

― Raoul Peck

“Whatever will happen has to be based on long-term policies and strategies of resistance. We had the Occupy Wall Street movement, but when they had to step up and organize in a more institutional way, the whole movement dissolved.”

― Raoul Peck

“As long as you are in that white privilege bubble, you don’t need to see the world differently. You don’t need to see the world through the eyes of minorities or women.”

― Raoul Peck

“When I have people trust me with their money, I am obligated to give them a great film. I am not obligated to give them a profit.”

― Raoul Peck

“America has been living on the back of the whole world! If you take how much energy we consume, like, 20 percent of the world’s energy is consumed in this country. Where do you think it comes from, and what are the sacrifices of those countries?”

― Raoul Peck

“Only if you were lucky to be born in the right class, the one Donald Trump was born in, then of course you have a beautiful view of the world. You find that everybody else is an imbecile, because he doesn’t think like you, he doesn’t dress like you, he doesn’t have the same girl as you, etc. But I call that ignorance.”

― Raoul Peck

“That’s part of being a real citizen: always questioning your leadership, not only about what it is doing in your own country, but what it is doing elsewhere. Because it is connected.”

― Raoul Peck

“I consider myself first of all an artist. My work is about my creativity – why I create and not for whom.”

― Raoul Peck

“I tend to believe that film can try to save what still can be saved, in terms of our histories, our memories. Because a lot of things are disappearing very quickly, things are changing. We are living in very quick times, and we have a new generation who basically know nothing about events 30 years ago.”

― Raoul Peck

“Haiti is not a world aside, a world apart. Culture and imaginations have always been part of our rebirth.”

― Raoul Peck

“I have always tried to put content in my work. It is a consistent challenge.”

― Raoul Peck

“Making a film is just layers and layers of work of edits and trial and error.”

― Raoul Peck

“I have refused money sometimes for a film. I have refused films when I felt that it was not for me. When it was just a job or just about making money, I said no. I wanted to make every film count, and when you are true to yourself, this gives you a certain integrity and a certain reputation.”

― Raoul Peck

“There’s an apparent freedom, an apparent liberty of access to everything, but you can’t use it because it’s too much. Everything is at the same level. You even have fake news. You have to go through fake news to make up your mind. Facts and lies are treated as equal. There are even people who are against the idea of climate change.”

― Raoul Peck

“That’s the absurdity of Twitter. You can react without thinking now.”

― Raoul Peck

“That’s what as an artist you always try to do. To try to be a sharper mind than the average person.”

― Raoul Peck

“I think this whole discussion about what is politically correct – sometimes you have to name the name. You can’t hide it. Politeness is good if it’s not hiding the truth.”

― Raoul Peck

“My story with film is kind of different because I started with photography because my father was a photo buff. He had all sort of cameras, and I grew up with that.”

― Raoul Peck

“I studied economics. I studied industrial engineering. It wasn’t until later, when I was around 26, that I really decided to go to film school.”

― Raoul Peck

“To put it simply, as a black man, I started watching films at the age of six, and I’ve since seen the bad guys changing race – between the African savages, to the Native Americans, and then the blacks and the Arabs and the Chinese and the Vietnamese. Look at ‘Rambo’: it’s exactly that.”

― Raoul Peck

“You can binge a TV series or watch a reality show, and they’re not innocent. They take a lot of room in your brain, and you don’t have any space left for your own thoughts. They give you a scripted reality. It’s an ideological tool.”

― Raoul Peck

“International aid as a means of development is a major failure, and not just in Haiti.”

― Raoul Peck
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