One day when while recounting several historical events from the 1960s to my journalism class at Metropolitan State College of Denver, a student raised her hand and asked, “Why do people keep talking about the ‘60s?”
I replied, “You would have to have been there.”
Enter Swedish television journalists who take today’s audience back 40 years to spotlight the racial injustices in the U.S., and show them on the world stage. The film’s footage was discovered in the basement of a Swedish Television station. And it should be required viewing by every middle, high and college student in the U.S. and the world. Of course there’s been plenty of documentaries about the ‘60s and ‘70s, but none have the fresh and fascinating approach offered by director Göran Olsson and co-producer Danny Glover through hip music, narrative and 16mm footage from that era.
The film underlines another point of view of America through the eyes of foreign journalists. It’s not pretty point of view as many young black activists from those decades had grown tired of the nonviolent philosophy of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
War, Civil Rights and political assassinations filled newspapers and television screens on a daily basis during ‘60s and ‘70s. The filmmaker’s images and candid interviews of the Black Power Movement, and its leaders (shown in human dimensions) Stokely Carmichael, Bobby Seale, Angela Davis and Eldridge Cleaver, punctuate the racially charged period that changed America. It would be interesting for the Swedish filmmakers to return in 2011 to see how much America has changed with the election of Barack Obama who is offering another kind of black power, and Herman Cain possibly on the horizon. Or has America changed that much at all?