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SUPERVILLAIN - interview with director Karam Gill.

 

Director:  Karam Gill

‘SUPERVILLAIN: THE MAKING OF TEKASHI 6IX9INE’

Interview by Emmanuel Itier

 

Q: How did it come together and why were you interested with documenting the life of Tekashi, supervillain?

 

Karam: Well, this project is actually based on an article published in the magazine Rolling Stones and from a deep investigation about Tekashi. And the company of Ron Howard decided to partner with the cable channel, Showtime, to find the right director and turn it into a mini doc series. What’s funny is that I didn’t want to do it, at first, when they reached out to me. I simply hate his music and I think he is a repulsive character. I really didn’t want to make a music doc about him. But after seating down with Tekashi I realized I could do a doc about the insanity of manufacturing a celebrity with the help of the social medias. And this is what fascinated me and pushed me to get involved. It’s incredible how the internet allows you to create yourself in any shape and form, even the most extremes ones. Look at Donald Trump and look at Tekashi. It’s the same phenomenon. It’s all about studying these characters who thrive and prey on human shock factors and how they rise to notoriety. When I realized this was the real theme of this documentary I came to the conclusion I HAD to direct it. Everyone realized with me that this was a very important doc to be made. As an educative tool, a cautionary tale of some sort. I think that it’s important for our culture to study villains because when we do that, we learn so much also about ourselves. It has to make us wonder why we put these people on a platform and why we idolize them. It’s really a reflection point.

 

Q: What do you think is the difference between a Villain and a Super-Hero?

 

Karam: I think the main difference between the two is “intention”. People who are looking out for the good of others and who are conscious of society and other human beings are the real Heroes. And then, people who are only conscious of themselves and who are only looking to further their agenda in their lives are the real Villains! And I understand why kids go for the villains because it’s much easier to become a villain than to become a Hero. It’s so easy for kids to post on Instagram and other platforms stupid things and be the anti-hero. It’s not so simple to post something that shows your do something incredible for the World, right? And actually, when you do that, you probably don’t get a bunch of “Likes”. People do like, sadly, what is crazy and outrageous. It’s quite sad.

 

Q: Is this film also about “redemption” and is there such a thing as a possible redemption for a villain, for a Tekashi?

 

Karam: No, I don’t think so. But this not really the point I was making with this film. This doc is more like a “capsule” film. It tells the story of the time in Human history when this villain existed. It’s really a case study about what is a villain in our society right now. It shows how we were amused and fascinated at first by this villain and how then we got disgusted and, in that process, how we also got desensitized. It’s like with Trump. He was funny at first and then it became real when he got elected and then we got scared and disgusted. And now we are so used to him that he became irrelevant. I think there is no redemption for a villain because being bad, incarnated what is bad is your life purpose; there is nothing else that counts. You don’t want redemption when you’re a villain.

 

Q: What did you discover about Tekashi that surprised you?

 

Karam: I didn’t realize until I met him how calculative and a sociopath he was! It really is scary to me and hard to wrap my head around this type of character. In any case I hope this movie created a conversation about us, about our society and make us realize, at the end, who are the villains and who should be our Heroes. I hope people who watch our doc realize how our society is enabling a culture of manufacturing celebrities. Hopefully people realize that what you see on the internet is calculated, fabricated, and it’s not the real world and the real people who are creating these images. It’s also about realizing that even so we are always fascinated by dark things, violence, car chases, but we have to realize that our fascination drive these people doing these bad things turn them into celebrities and that is the ultimate bad impact. We cannot allow those bad guys to gain notoriety and become a celebrity.

 

 

 

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Berlin 2019: The dailies from the Berlin Film Festival brought to you by our team of festival ambassadors. Vanessa McMahon, Alex Deleon, Laurie Gordon, Lindsay Bellinger and Bruno Chatelin...
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