Captures the revolutionary sprit of the Black Panthers.
For any younger person such as myself who wasn't alive during the 60's and it's numerous radical movements, "Black Panthers" is a good historical piece of film. Vardas is definitely not objective here and is clearly rooting for the Black Panthers, but I can't really blame her when the opposition is the FBI and Oakland police.
Behind all the dry summaries and articles about the Black Panthers is a truly revolutionary spirit of an oppressed people. This film does a wonderful job capturing that spirit during one of the more important times for the Black Panthers, which was the trial of Huey Newton. I especially appreciated the extended interview of Huey Newton himself while he was in jail, footage of the underappreciated Stokely Carmicheal who was one of the more intellectual figures, and the focus on woman in the Black Panther party.
I wish there was more of a focus on differing parties in the movie, like the cops or white reactionaries. Not so the film could claim to be objective but because the claims of the Black Panthers (racism, fascism,etc.) could be shown as context for their rallies. In addition, there isn't much actual filmmaking shown here, just that a team was present. I would suggest the amazing "Harlan County" for a documentary that shows the spirit and soul of the movement, not just by showing up, but through filmmaking skills.
Overall it's a good visualizer of an interesting and important part of radical history in the U.S.
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