This documentary has passed through my periphery on various occasions. The incredible Angela Davis has lilted in and out of my conversations, mainly in an iconic and idolised way. Then my friend GT sends me the full film and suddenly I can't understand why it's taken me this long to finally sit down and watch it.
The content is potent. I want to say the content is potent 'even today', but this documentary was filmed in the 60's and 70's: my parents generation. In so many ways, it is today. The Black Power Movement is exceptional in terms of the history of black people of America, of the experience of being held down by so many violently forceful means, from physically, to state apparatus, to culture and education perpetuating a normalisation of racism, to ignorance - the struggle is incredibly situational and specific.
Yet, the struggle for emancipation spear headed by the Black rights movement can draw consistent parallels with other forms of resistance in society today. The notion of power. Of ideology. Of subjugation and inequality. These are concepts that are still physically manifest on the streets of America, and on the streets of the UK. Especially when I think about the August riots of last year. And the stop and search policies of the police force. And the ghettoisation of those living in poverty. Many of the concepts discussed in this film could be applied to the world as we know it, in 2012.
It's filmed and produced in such a beautifully simple manner, with Swedish voice overs and pastel 60's colour tones combined with iconic images of the Black Power Movement and the streets of 60's/70's America: it is a pure visual pleasure.
If you want to get angry, learn something new and feel empowered... Watch it. Now.
at 10:40 PM