If your PBS affiliate shows the series Independent Lens, one of the better non-cable televisual outlets for documentaries right now, tune in tonight for The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution. It’s directed by the great Stanley Nelson (Jonestown, Freedom Riders), who turns his gaze to the story of the country’s last great radical movement, and how it was destroyed just before falling apart.
My review of The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution, which played in theaters last fall, is at PopMatters:
At some point, revolutionaries have to decide what else they want to be. Too often, they can’t. That’s why so many successful insurrections end up emulating the very same oppressive regimes they overthrow: fighters are often miserably bad peacemakers. That’s why Che Guevara ran off to die stupidly in Bolivia rather than figure out sugar cane production back in Cuba…
If you’re in the mood, they even put together a Black Panthers mixtape (Bill Withers, Public Enemy, Nina Simone).
Here is the trailer: