Wednesday, February 17, 2016

The Black Panthers: Vanguard of The Revolution

is an incredible film. The first feature length documentary about the legendary Black Panther Party presented by Firelight media and directed by Emmy Award winning founder of Firelight Media, Stanley Nelson is the beauty of Documentary film epitomized. Now available for streaming on PBS.

     "The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution" was an experience from start to finish. Well executed and equally entertaining as informative. Exceptionally edited, filled with an ample amount of dope archival footage, animated text, and beautiful images. This film guides viewers along the story of the rise and fall of the iconic group, with interviews with Black Panthers as well as archival footage of old interviews, protests, and soundbites of phone calls; as well as newspaper clippings, headlines, and legal documents. Originally called "The Black Panther Party for self defense", we learn the name is inspired by the nature of the Black Panther. The Black Panther does not attack until attacked and then retaliates, as expressed by one of the most famous Black Panthers Huey Newton. The party was originally created to protect Black people from the police officers who were terrorizing them in the streets on the basis of racism. Not only did they protect their people but the Black Panthers provided for the community in ways the government did not, with services such as free breakfast for children. This film does not only introduce to the famed men of The Black panther party Huey Newton, Fred Hampton, Eldridge Cleaver, and Bobby Seal; but the many women who supported the party and fought for their rights as well. At one point there were more women involved than men.

     The film premiered at Sundance last year and has been featured at many festivals including MoMA's Documentary Fortnight 2015, however last night's premiere on PBS could not have been at a better time. Just last month BeyoncĂ© performed her latest single "Formation" on which she declares her love for her Blackness, self expression, and where she is from; at the Super Bowl with an all Black woman dance ensemble who were wearing all Black outfits topped off with Black berets in honor of the Black Panther Party. This performance stirred a lot of controversy unveiling the White Supremacy that runs deep in this nation and the still thriving misunderstanding and hatred towards that Black Panther Party. Hopefully the nay-sayers tuned in because this film presented a large amount of information to properly represent the Balck Panthers.

The Black Panthers: Vanguard of The Revolution is phenomenal. A must-see.

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