If perspective is everything, what does the Black Power Movement look like through the eyes of Swedish filmmakers? Forty year old tapes were found in a basement  and they take us back to a tumultous and exciting time in US history. Unseen footage and interviews with important figures of the time form the amazing mix that is this film.

Last Friday was the UK premiere at the Ritzy in Brixton for the The Black Power Mixtape 1967-1975. In the middle of all the trouble in the South, Swedish filmmakers went over to America to see what was going on. This unique viewpoint of naivety and eagerness to understand makes this film special. Coupled with Olsson’s editing, Mixtape is a stellar re-mastering of the Movement.

As the name suggests, the film moves chronologically from 1967 to 1975, highlighting how the influence of drugs, the Vietnam war and assassinations affected the movement’s progress.Olsson has gathered many greats in this story- great revolutionaries, such as Angela Davis, Harry Belafonte and Stokely Carmichael; great commentators like Erykah Badu and Abiodun Oyewole.

Amidst the nine years  of struggle, there is also a humour in this film I’ve never seen before when discussing the movement. It adds to the humanity and defiance of Davis and Stokely that they still had it in them to laugh and be hopeful in spite of their circumstances.  And hope will always be heroic.

Here’s the trailer:

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