Antonioni’s epic of existential malaise and identity slippage stars Jack Nicholson at the top of his game, as an American journalist who, on a whim, assumes the identity of a deceased, look-alike gunrunner caught up in a revolutionary conflict in Chad. Whether intentionally or not, Antonioni’s portrayal of the African rebels, whose leader is interviewed by Nicholson’s reporter in a key scene, casts a decidedly Fanonian light on a film that, at its core, is about a man’s political paralysis in the face of a revolutionary uprising and his blindness to the limits of his knowing. Throughout the film, Antonioni emphasizes the influence off-screen reality exerts on his globe-trotting work of fiction, even inserting a few moments of shockingly real violence that rupture the Western protagonist’s self-created, and alienated, dreamworld.

Screening as part of Film Comment Live: The Rebel’s Cinema—Frantz Fanon on Screen (Aug. 29-Sept. 1), a four-day series of screenings and talks will take place at Film at Lincoln Center, Maysles Documentary Center, BAM (Brooklyn Academy of Music), and Anthology Film Archives.