Review: The Black Power Mixtape 1967-1975
With the footage that these film-makers had, it's very unlikely that they could have failed in their mission to provide an overview of the Black Power movement.
The documentary, The Black Power Mixtape, comes from footage originally shot by Swedish journalists in the 1960s and 1970s during the height of the Civil Rights Movement. Covering the rise to popularity of the Black Panthers, a militant Black movement, and the trial of Angela Davis. The journalists were pulled to the US with the emerging movement and revolution for civil rights, and it's their viewpoint that provides this documentary with a unique perspective; as wide-eyed Swedish journalists, they're not batting for either side of the movement, but to just report.
A strong point of this documentary is the footage itself is the sheer quality of the interviews that had taken place. Firstly, there was the one of Stokely Carmichael, a Pan-African Civil Rights Leader, interviewing his own mother about the injustices faced by his family as Bermudian immigrants to the country, and a never-seen before interview with Angela Davis while she was in jail. The two biggest figures of that movement, Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X are also covered.
Narratives are provided by various different people; all young African-Americans such as neo-Soul artist Erykah Badu, rapper Talib Kweli, and hip hop artist Questlove, reporting back with their own ties, lives, views and perspectives on these people and on this movement that was so influential to them.
This 16mm footage was thought to be lost; but it wasn't, it was unearthed in Sweden, years after the footage had been filmed and then these narratives added.
What documentary on this subject would be complete without the role of Nation of Islam? Somehow, they even managed to get a documentary with Louis Farrakhan.
The Black Power Movement is a moving, down-to-earth and most importantly, truthful chronological tale of the Civil Rights Movement and the movements that followed it during the late sixties and early seventies. Highly recommend to anybody with an interest in the field and this documentary would provide especially useful to History AS students who study the Civil Rights Movement.