DVD Review: Black Power Mixtape 1967-1975

The Black Power Mixtape 1967-1975
Director: Goran Olsson
Writer: Goran Olsson
Starring Angela Davis, Stokley Carmichael, Bobby Seale, Erykah Badu, Talib Kweli
Music by: Om’Mas Keith & Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson
Sundance Selects
DVD Release Date: December 13, 2011

Swedish television journalists journeyed to America to document the rise of the Black Power Movement in the ’60s and ’70s. The footage was largely forgotten and was in storage for more than 30 years. Director Goran Hugo Olsson has compiled this footage into a mixtape which highlights key figures and events in the Black Power Movement called The Black Power Mixtape 1967-1975. People who were alive during this time can view the footage through the eyes of a neutral party. Those who were not alive and have never seen this footage can witness a pivotal point in American history with a contemporary presentation.

Olsson has footage of Stokely Carmichael and his mother, Eldridge Cleaver, and other members of the Black Panther Party. Louis Farrakhan is interviewed during the segment that focuses on the Muslim Party. They also show the drug addiction that took place in the inner city. In addition, the filmmakers were able to interview Angela Davis during her jail term. Current entertainers and activists provide commentary over the footage, such as Talib Kweli, Erykah Badu, John Forte, and members of The Last Poets. In a unique twist, Angela Davis provides commentary on her experiences in prison. In addition, contemporary producers Om’Mas Keith and Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson (bandleader of The Roots) created original musical pieces to accompany the footage.

Goran Hugo Olsson and his Swedish production team have unearthed a provocative and riveting time capsule of American history. In addition to the documentary, the special features include complete interviews with Stokley Carmichael, Angela Davis, Louis Farrakhan, and a bonus segment about Shirley Chisolm’s campaign for the Democratic nomination for President. The Black Power Mixtape breathes new life into this footage and should be seen and enjoyed by future generations.

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