THE BLACK POWER MIXTAPE 1967-1975 With Music Composed By Questlove Now On DemandSeptember 28, 2011

THE BLACK POWER MIXTAPE 1967-1975 With Music Composed By Questlove Now On Demand

IFC Films

On Demand Weekly provides new movie reviews of hot movies on demand and from the POV of watching from the comfort of your home. Today’s review: THE BLACK POWER MIXTAPE 1967-1975 (IFC Films).

Click Here For On Demand Weekly's Exclusive Interview With Director Goran Hugo Olsson


THE BLACK POWER MIXTAPE 1967-1975 With Music Composed By Questlove Now On Demand
By Chris Claro


As the 21st century plows on – it’s been a decade, folks – it becomes more and more evident that context is everything. If the Web has taught us anything, it’s that nothing is definitive anymore; the breadth of perspectives, opinions, biases, and slants is innumerable. The lens through which events are viewed is permeable, malleable, and constantly rotating. As a result, the source of perspectives has become as important as the perspectives themselves.



With THE BLACK POWER MIXTAPE 1967-1975, director Goran Hugo Olsson mines the work of Swedish journalists who covered the US during the era referred to in the film’s title. Olsson juxtaposes the vintage – and well preserved – footage of such icons as Stokely Carmichael and Eldridge Cleaver with contemporary commentary from a combination of people who were there, such as Angela Davis and Harry Belafonte, and others, who only have a distant connection to the era, like Erykah Badu. A conventional doc in the show-and-tell mode, THE BLACK POWER MIXTAPE 1968-1975 is nonetheless ingenious in the way Olsson shows the international ripples that America’s unrest caused through the mid-70s.


Charting the tumult of the era, including the rise of Black consciousness, the assassinations of RFK and MLK, and the blunting impact of drugs on militancy and activism, MIXTAPE takes a linear approach, like a print annual, to show how these very American issues were viewed through the progressive, and decidedly liberal eyes of the Swedish press. One of the most effective sequences in the film highlights the umbrage of Nixon loyalist and TV Guide publisher Walter Annenberg at what he felt was the consistently negative portrayal of America by foreign journalists, particularly those from Scandinavia.


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What Does a Swedish Filmmaker Know About the US Black Power Movement Of The 60’s & 70’s?September 28, 2011

What Does a Swedish Filmmaker Know About the US Black Power Movement Of The 60’s & 70’s?

IFC Films

On Demand Weekly's VOD Spotlight highlights stories from the On Demand industry. Chris Claro interviews Swedish director Goran Hugo Olsson about THE BLACK POWER MIXTAPE 1968-1975 (IFC Film). Read our review of the film too here.


What Does a Swedish Filmmaker Know About the US Black Power Movement Of The 60's & 70's?
On Demand Weekly’s Chris Claro talks to Swedish director Goran Hugo Olsson about a new film produced by Danny Glover and music by Questlove

I was looking in the archives of the Swedish National Broadcasting company for some images from the 60s and 70s and I came across this treasure and I immediately identified that this can be a great film. Then I realized it’s my duty to put this out to an audience, it can’t be lying around here in this basement.


I wanted to have some of the people from the time, like Angela Davis, commenting on her own images. And however great archive material can be, it also could be claustrophobic in a cinematic sense, if you kept it in this time and space. I wanted to add some fresh oxygen into that, so I wanted some contemporary voices to comment on the film and I also wanted to put the events in context. I was inspired by commentary tracks on DVD, when someone is talking about a film while watching it. I didn’t want to have any talking heads, looking back. I wanted to have a different flow to the film.


Once I found the material, I think I got the idea pretty early on that the key events in the film, the speech with Stokely Carmichael and the interview with Angela Davis in jail. And I wanted to lay out the idea that we have this sparking black and white and everybody in sharp suits and it’s ’67. Then we have the 70s, and it’s color and the hairdos and everything. So there was a story between those two things. And once I got that, I did receive quite a bit of support from Sweden and then I realized I needed someone who knows this as a co-producer and I basically got to New York and knocked on the door of Danny Glover and Joslyn Barnes, my co-producer, and I showed them some footage. When they saw the material and we talked about it, they were in.

I have memories of Angela Davis. She was on television in Sweden and I have images of the end of the Vietnam War. The turning point in my life, I was 11 or 12 and I got back from school and there was the Soweto uprising in Johannesburg. And we spent time every year collecting money for the ANC, which is closely connected to the Black Power movement.



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