What happened in Europe and America, that people are angry? Is it the political situation in Europe and America that makes them angry? What is it, that makes citizen angry nowadays? In this documentary VPRO together with Indian writer Pankaj Mishra investigates the reasons for anger and angry citizens in Europe and America.
The Indian writer Pankaj Mishra, was born and raised in India, but since 2006 is living in London. Pankaj Mishra published the book Age of Anger: A History of the Present in 2017. In Age of Anger, he tries to indicate where the ‘wave of paranoid hatred’, as he calls it, comes from. Against whom that anger is directed and where it has led to during the last decades.
Anger. A word that often does the rounds in the 21st century. The anger of the lone wolf and anger of nationalists. Anger, fueled by Trump, Brexit, IS, Catalan separatists and even the Hindu supremacy in India. Pankaj Mishra tries to explain this phenomenon. Where does that anger come from and how can it lead to something good?
With the gaze of a relative outsider, Mishra observes the deep identity crisis that the United Kingdom has fallen into since Brexit. A country that is still divided by large class antagonisms and has been unable to distance itself from its colonial past. A country where the political elite has become estranged from its electorate and where xenophobia seems to be experiencing a new revival.
Mishra shows the contradictions between the British elite and the migrant community. On the one hand, the British elite, who clung to their past with all their might: imagined in the financial heart of London, the City, where the new Lord Mayor of London is inaugurated each year in a procession with a lot of ceremonial display. And the pressurized migrant community that lives in social housing alongside expensive real estate projects in the very prosperous Kensington district. A neighborhood where last summer the disastrous fire in the Grenfell Tower took place with at least 71 fatalities. The protesting survivors of the conflagration now use their anger to enforce their position. How could they, in the eyes of Pankaj Mishra, ensure that this anger leads to something good?
With: Pankaj Mishra (writer), Lord Jeffrey Mountevans (former mayor City of London), Zeyad Cred (resident Kensington-Chelsea) and Samia Badani (resident Kensington-Chelsea).
Originally broadcasted by VPRO in 2017.
© VPRO Backlight December 2017
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Director: Shuchen Tan
English, French and Spanish subtitles: Ericsson.
French and Spanish subtitles are co-funded by European Union.