The Black Power Mixtape 1967-1975

The Black Power Mixtape 1967-1975

  • BY Göran Hugo Olsson | IN Race & Ethnicity
    Premiered February 9, 2012

About the Film

For three decades, the film canisters sat undisturbed in a cellar beneath the Swedish National Broadcasting Company. Inside was roll after roll of startlingly fresh and candid 16mm footage shot in the 1960s and 1970s in the United States, all of it focused on the anti-war and Black Power movements. When filmmaker Goran Hugo Olsson discovered the footage, he decided he had a responsibility to shepherd this glimpse of history into the world. MORE

With contemporary audio interviews from leading African American artists, activists, musicians and scholars, The Black Power Mixtape 1967-1975 looks at the people, society, culture, and style that fuelled an era of convulsive change. Utilizing an innovative format that riffs on the popular 1970s mixtape format, Mixtape is a cinematic and musical journey into the black communities of America.

At the end of the '60s and into the early '70s, Swedish interest in the U.S. civil rights movement and the U.S. anti-war movement peaked. With a combination of commitment and naiveté, Swedish filmmakers traveled across the Atlantic to explore the Black Power movement, which was being alternately ignored or portrayed in the U.S. media as a violent, nascent terrorist movement.

Despite the obstacles they encountered, both from the conservative white American power establishment and from radicalized movement members themselves, the Swedish filmmakers stayed committed to their investigation, and ultimately formed bonds with key figures in the movement.

This newly discovered footage offers a penetrating examination — through the lens of Swedish filmmakers — of the Black Power movement from 1967 to 1975, and its worldwide resonance. The result is like an anthropological treatise on an exotic civilization from the point of view of outsiders who approached their subject with no assumptions or biases.


The Filmmaker

Göran Hugo Olsson

Documentary filmmaker and cinematographer Göran Hugo Olsson is the co-founder of Story AB. He was the commission consultant at the Swedish Film Institute during 2000-02, and is a member of the editorial board of Ikon South Africa — a platform for the creative documentary in South Africa. His documentary film work includes F**k You, F**k You Very Much (nominated as the second best rock-documentary of all time by legendary Bon Magazine), and the film about soul artist Billy Paul, Am I Black Enough for You.

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Film Credits

Written and Directed by
Göran Hugo Olsson

Produced by
Annika Rogell

Co-Produced by
Joslyn Barnes and Danny Glover
Axel Arnö

Executive Music Producer
Corey Smyth

Music by
Ahmir Questlove Thompson and Om’Mas Keith

Commentary by
Erykah Badu
Harry Belafonte
Kathleen Cleaver
Angela Davis
John Forté
Kenny Gamble
Robin Kelley
Talib Kweli
Abiodun Oyewole
Melvin Van Peebles
Sonia Sanchez
Bobby Seale
Ahmir Questlove Thompson

Edited by
Göran Hugo Olsson
Hanna Lejonqvist SFK

Art Director
Stefania Malmsten

Research and Advisor
Fatima Varhos

Soundmix
Anders Nyström

Grading
Martin Steinberg

Production Assistants
Tim Dahlberg
John Olsson
Sara Sellgren

Post Production Advice
Peter Gustafsson

Production Trainee
Simon Elvås

Legal Advice
Renaud Mauruc

Story Accountant
Helena Cederblad

Louverture Accountant
Sarisa Middleton

Louverture Production Associate
Julia Morgan

Assistant to Mr. Glover
Nicole Middleton

Administrative Assistant for Blacksmith Corp
Midori Nishijima-Kim

Music Clearances
Deborah Mannis-Gardner

Publicity – Sweden
Gilda Romero

Publicity – North America
David Magdael & Associates

North American Distribution Advisory Services
Cinetic Media

International Distribution
Wide House

Associate Producer
Jenny Örnborn

Executive Producer
Tobias Janson

Commissioning Editors

For ZDF/ARTE
Martin Pieper

For YLE Teema
Ritva Leino

For NRK
Tore Tomter

For RTS
Irène Challand
Gaspard Lamunière

For ERT
Irene Gavala-Chardalia

Original Footage Created by
Sven Anér
Bertil Askelöf
Göran Bengtson
Sid Birchman
John Sune Carlson
Ingrid Dahlberg
Thomas Dillén
Tom Goetz
Nils Åke Hamberg
Lars Helander
Lars Hellengren
Lars Hjelm
Bo Holmström
Bo Holmqvist
Bo Isaksson
Ove Joanson
Michael Kimmanson
Raija Lounavaara
Ingemar Odlander
Lars B Pettersson
Anders Ribbsjö
Jonas Sima
Christian Stannow
Knut Ståhlberg
Lars Tjernberg
Anders Turai
Lars Ulvenstam
Örjan Öberg

Abiodun Oyewole Interview
Mats Nileskär

Archival Footage
Sveriges Television AB
BBC Motion Gallery
Film Audio Services/Archive Films: Getty Images
NASA / Spacecraft Films

Original Music Courtesy Blacksmith Corp.

“Rockin' Robin”
Written by Jimmie Thomas
Used by Permission of Leon Rene Family Partnership
Performed by Jackson 5
Courtesy of Motown Records
Under license from Universal Music Enterprises

“Unwritten”
Written by Tarik Collins, Ahmir Thompson, Tahir Jamal,
Karl Jenkins, Radji Mateen, Khari Mateen, Ridhwan Mateen
Performed by The Roots
Courtesy of The Island Def Jam Music Group
Under license from Universal Music Enterprises

“Soul Makossa”
Written by Manu Dibango
Published by Universal Musica, Inc. (ASCAP)
on behalf of ED. Ed. Musicales Grande Avenue
Performed by Manu Dibango Courtesy of Universal International Music, B.V.
Under license from Universal Music Enterprises

“Miles Moods”
Composed by G Barker
Under license from EMI Music Publ.

Special Thanks
Björn Aivars
David Aronowitch
Anna Byvall
Doug Davis
James Early
Nils Fridén
Martin Glover
Piodor Gustafsson
Dino Jonsäter
Negar Josephi
David Kalal
Louise Køster
Staffan Lamm
Pia Lundberg
Bob Moses
Anita Nayar
Jordan Newhouse
Rich Nichols
Ingemar Persson
Jan Röfekamp
Sara Rüster
Carla Sims
Lisa Taube
Tevearkvivet
Halvard Walldén
Motisola Zulu

Funding Provided by
Swedish Film Institute
MEDIA Programme of the European Union
Nordic Film & TV Fund
The Swedish Arts Grants Committee

This program is a production of Story AB co-produced by Louverture Films,
Sveriges Television, and ZDF in association with ARTE.
Produced in association with YLE Teema, Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation (NRK),
Radio Télévision Suisse (RTS), and Greek Radio Television (ERT).

© 2011 Story AB, Louverture Films LLC, and Sveriges Television AB. All rights reserved.

Do you think the portrayal of the Black Power movement by the American media was more or less accurate and objective than the Swedish footage in the film?
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Do you think the portrayal of the Black Power movement by the American media was more or less accurate and objective than the Swedish footage in the film?