Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Review of 'The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution'

A sympathetic documentary about the Panthers, which brings out many of the good things - the social services they offered within the community, the move beyond racial nationalism towards a socialist and class-baseed analysis, the identification with anti-imperialist struggles - but more or less glosses over the bad things - the sexism, the uneasy relationship with criminality and gangs, the glorification of guns and violence...

The film is pretty analytical though, and shows how the FBI targeted the Panthers, and how successful its program of inflitration and destabilisation was. One thing I didn't get at all from the film was how the party related to other Black nationalist, liberation and civil rights groups. There was some mention of the King assassination, and the odd quote from someone in the SNCC, but one could be forgiven for thinking that the Panthers were the only radical group in the Black community. How did they relate to Malcolm X's Nation of Islam, for example?

Lots of great footage, though, including some nice film from the breakfast programs (why don't radicals do that sort of thing any more?) and from demonstrations in support of jailed Panthers that are very clearly multi-racial. And great music.

Watched via informal download, Chromestream and Chromecast.

No comments: