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" 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. "
" 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. "
" 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. "
" I refuse to make films where the audience comes for consumption. I make films where you know you are also part of the process. "
" You face the reality, whether it's hopeful or hopeless. What's your alternative? To lie down and die? "
" 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. "
" 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. "
" 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. "
" 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. "
" 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. "
" 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. "
" 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. "
" 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. "
" 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. "
" 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. "
" We are artists. We are all subjective people; we have a point of view. It doesn't mean we are right. "
" 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. "
" 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. "
" If there is something that determines my motivation in the work I do, it's the sense of injustice. "
" 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. "
" 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. "
" 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. "
" I have been skeptical, sometimes, about the importance of rap music, which I think is a capitalistic project to make money. "
" 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. "
" We forget that everything has a meaning, everything has an impact on you. It's what we call soft power today. Nothing is innocent. "