In 1967 a team of Swedish journalists traveled to the U.S. to document African American life. Over the 9 years that followed the filmmakers captured thousands of hours of footage, documenting the Black experience and interviewing leading figures of empowerment such as Stokely Carmichael, Angela Davis, and Black Panther founder Huey Newton. More than 30 years later, the discarded news footage has been woven into a nine-chapter narrative on the emergence and struggles of African American empowerment. Director Göran Hugo Olsson recently brought the film to Hot Docs, where it received critical acclaim.
The film is an outstanding historical record. I especially liked the fact that the footage was filmed by outsiders to America. There is a sympathetic fascination that shows through the footage and editing. The cultural significance of the archival footage is punctuated by the narrating voiceover of contemporary artists such as Erykah Badu, Talib Kweli, and ?uestlove. Olsson wisely relies only on the voiceover of the artists, never breaking away from the rich footage from decades past.