One of Donald Trump’s last orders of business before leaving office was to send a clear eff-you to the 1619 Project, The New York Times‘ Pulitzer-winning attempt to reframe how America looks at a past rooted in slavery. (Meanwhile, one of Joe Biden’s first orders of business was to scratch it from the public record.) No doubt those who throw fits when people try to talk about America’s racist past will do the same over Exterminate All the Brutes, a four-part series coming soon to HBO that tries to get at the roots of modern bigotry by looking at the grim history of colonialism, both here and abroad.
The series comes from Raoul Peck, of the Oscar-nominated doc I Am Not Your Negro, which used the works and public appearances of James Baldwin to examine some of the same issues. “What if from the beginning the story was told the wrong way?” Peck, who will serve as a guide and narrator, asks over top old images of Native Americans depicted as blood-thirsty savages — just one of many ideas his series will seek to overturn.
As per the press release, Peck “deconstructs the making and masking of history, digging deep into the exploitative and genocidal aspects of European colonialism – from America to Africa and its impact on society today – challenging the audience to re-think the very notion of how history is being written.”
Exterminate All Brutes will debut soon, with its first two episodes airing back to back on April 7 and the remainder the following night. Its title comes from one of three books about the dark history of colonialism, and you can watch the trailer in the video above.