Film Review: The Black Power Mixtape

| Wed Sep. 7, 2011 6:30 AM EDT

The Black Power Mixtape 1967-1975

LOUVERTURE FILMS

90 minutes

Revisiting the Black Power movement of the '60s and '70s through the lens of the era's Swedish journalists? It's a strange premise for a doc, but filmmaker Göran Hugo Olsson has dug up tons of old 16 mm footage, adding commentary from civil rights icons (Angela Davis, Harry Belafonte) and contemporary hip-hop artists (Erykah Badu, Questlove, Talib Kweli). Despite some great scenes—children of Black Panthers singing "pick up your guns" and Davis' moving prison interview about the Birmingham church bombing—Olsson's depiction of the struggle comes off as something you'd grudgingly watch in a high-school history class. As Badu says, "It's about the story." And this version, while informative, is rarely moving.

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