The Black Power Mixtape 1967-1975 | Chicago Reader

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Rated NR · 100 minutes · 2011

Documentary
Directed by Goran Hugo Olsson, this Swedish documentary draws on a treasure trove of film footage brought back from the United States by TV reporters investigating the racial tumult in America. The "mixtape" metaphor is pretty accurate: lacking any clear point of view (apart from the original reporters' narrow conception of America) the movie quickly turns into a hodgepodge, some of the sequences fascinating (Stokely Carmichael interviewing his mother about her past, black folks voicing their despair at the wake for Robert F. Kennedy), some of them not (boilerplate press statements from Bobby Seale, Angela Davis, and Louis Farrakhan). Olsson maintains a rigidly chronological narrative that tracks the black power movement from its finest hour in the Black Panthers' social programs to its collapse amid the inner-city drug addiction of the mid-70s; the soundtrack supplies some contemporary perspective, both verbal (reminiscences from Sonia Sanchez and Harry Belafonte) and musical (hip-hop tunes from Questlove and Om'Mas Keith).


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Director: Göran Olsson
Producer: Tobias Janson and Annika Rogell

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