BARCELONA – Swiss movie director and producer Barbet Schroeder was in Spain on Friday for a retrospective of his work at the Film Archive in Catalonia spanning some of his most iconic movies including cult classic “More” which has Pink Floyd score and his most recent documentary “Le Venerable W.”
The Iranian-born director boasts an eclectic back catalog of movies many of which will be screened for the retrospective, including his most recent documentary about tensions between Muslims and Buddhists in Myanmar – Myanmar does not recognize the Rohingya ethnic group primarily of Muslim faith and considers them to be illegal immigrants from Bangladesh – which is the third movie from the “Trilogy of Evil.”
“I traveled to Myanmar in an attempt to understand how a Buddhist monk could be responsible for a genocide and I found that the fake news and online propaganda which favors governments and promotes the racism that has propped up (United States President Donald) Trump’s rise to power, is also responsible for what happens in this country (Myanmar) and others like Sri Lanka,” Schroeder explained.
The retrospective program at the Catalan film archive would also be screening “General Idi Amin Dada: Autoportrait” and “Terror’s Advocate,” the other two films from the trilogy.
The first one is a documentary about the Ugandan dictator Idi Amin responsible for the genocide of some 30,000 people between 1971 and 1979.
Schroeder recalled that he was able to create the portrait of the dictator in great part thanks to his vanity.
“I simply asked him to tell me about himself, from his point of view,” the director continued.
The 77-year-old explained that Idi Amin did just that, he started talking about himself and said things that were quite surreal but that were true.
It is like when Trump says of himself that he is intelligent and that he despises the privileged, leaving most dumbfounded with such a comment, but indeed it is true, he added.
The second movie in the trilogy, “Terror’s Advocate,” tells the true story of Jacques Vergès, a French lawyer who defended unpopular clients such as Holocaust denier Roger Garaudy and the Nazi war criminal Klaus Barbie.
The screenings, which will run from Feb 2 to March 26, would also include a projection of the now cult classic “More,” the director’s debut movie filmed on the Spanish party-island Ibiza in 1969.
“Barlfy,” a movie with a script by his writer-friend Charles Bukowski would also be screened.
At the press conference for the launch of the retrospective Schroeder also discussed his latest project, a fiction movie about Algerian refugees during the Algerian War of Independence against France during which many Algerians were sent to concentration camps.