Documentary 'The Black Power Mixtape' offers a trove of rediscovered footage of the movement's luminaries
Produced by Danny Glover, The Black Power Mixtape isn't exactly the snappy movie-as-mixtape the title leads you to expect. It's something more like a remix with guest verses, or maybe a rough demo for a multi-layered track of recognizable cues and samples. Anyway, it's more document, or collage of documents, than straightforward documentary. Director Göran Hugo Olsson, also the writer and editor on the project, wants to make sure long takes of Stokely Carmichael signing books overseas, or hanging out with his mother in Chicago, get the airing they deserve. Some of the footage sans the big personalities of the movement prove more evocative: 1967 interviews with African Americans in the streets of Hallendale, Fla. offer stark snapshots of life in the segregated South. In the film's closing act, a visit to 1975 Harlem features a wrenching monologue from a teenaged junkie-turned-prostitute, minutes after an appearance by a young Louis Farrakahn looking to get the Nation of Islam back on track.