YOURE EITHER PART OF THE SOLUTION OR PART OF THE PROBLEM.
Documentary filmmaker Göran Hugo Olsson started digging in archives and came up with a lot of footage shot by Swedish reporters covering the emergence of the late-sixties Black Power movement in America. How these people reported on it may be of historical interest primarily to contemporary Swedish journalists… but interviews with leading figures like Stokely Carmichael and Angela Davis, as well as footage portraying everyday life for African Americans over these years, are interesting. Not always on target, but the filmmakers hold it together with a fresh soundtrack and by having Davis and other prominent cultural icons like Erykah Badu comment on the footage and the era. The result is a film that reminds us of the problems that were, and offers a modern perspective as well.
2011-Sweden-U.S.-Germany-Norway-Finland-Serbia-Greece. 96 min. Color. Produced by Annika Rogell. Written and directed by Göran Hugo Olsson. Editing: Hanna Lejonqvist, Göran Hugo Olsson. Music: Questlove, Om’Mas Keith.
Trivia: Co-produced by Danny Glover.
Last word: “I was doing research on a film about Philadelphia soul music in the 1970s and I had decided that the film was going to be all nighttime footage. There was no index of night shots at that time in the Swedish National Broadcast Company archive so I had to look through everything that was shot in the U.S. from 1965 to 1980. Then, on a single day, I happened to see both Stokely Carmichael’s speech made in Stockholm (where he talks about Dr. King and nonviolence) and also the Angela Davis interview from jail. I was blown away. I realized that this material really is a treasure and also that it wasn’t only my privilege to put it out to an audience, it was also my duty – in a librarian kind of way. This material couldn’t lay around forever; it had to be put out, and put out in a way that’s accessible for an audience in high school or university.” (Olsson, Film Quarterly)