Parents' Guide to

Exterminate All the Brutes

By Martin Brown, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 16+

Powerful documentary shows history through graphic violence.

TV Max Educational 2021
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"It's not an easy story to tell because the story still continues today," filmmaker Raoul Peck says early on in this ambitious documentary about the history of colonialism and white supremacy. Exterminate All the Brutes is a sprawling work that attempts to connect various strands of American and European history to the present moment. It focuses on the idea that history tends to be told by "the winners," and the winners tend to be colonialists who use violence and cruelty to achieve dominance. Peck illuminates the other side of history, from the point of view of the indigenous peoples and other casualties of colonialism. The complexities can be difficult to reckon with, and Peck's narrative jumps around so much it's often tough to follow. But it can also be surprisingly witty, even funny, and Peck's ideas have a powerful bluntness to them. It may be overwhelming, but that's a result of Peck's willingness to confront urgent questions about complex subjects, giving Exterminate All the Brutes a raw power that may not always be satisfying in real time.

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