At the Independent Lens website you can watch the documentary (1:55:26) until 3/18/2016 or find it there on your local PBS station/s. There are lots of extras, and the comments are interesting. One says it’s okay enough for being “even-handed enough for PBS, but “All Power to the People”, and “Bastards of the Party” are better, harder hitting, talking more explicitly about why the Panthers had to be destroyed, because their 85 different social programs were both working, and showing how the system wasn’t, and still doesn’t. But you can still be active in the human liberation process.’
One says: ‘I’ll be watching with a very wary eye.’ “Ex-Black Panther Leader Elaine Brown Slams Stanley Nelson’s ‘Condemnable’ Documentary” http://www.thedailybeast.com/a…
(Brown indeed calls the documentary “condemnable” and offers a stunning critique of what Nelson left out, minimized, or got just plain wrong in her eyes. Other Panthers I’d missed she didn’t name, oddly. Most of her points seem valid once she articulates them, especially marginalizing Huey Newton’s leadership, yet maximizing Eldridge Cleaver’s. She scathingly ends with: “I have asked Stanley Nelson to remove the snippets of his interview with me from his film. He has refused. My consolation lies in knowing that this film will not be relevant in the history of the Black Panther Party, which, fixed in the history of the United States, will be studied for generation upon generation to come, and in knowing that history will not remember Stanley Nelson at all.” Ouch.
And yet there was so much in the film I hadn’t known, and am glad to know now, especially concerning the horrific events in Los Angeles, and why Fred (‘Peace, if you’re wiling to fight for it’) Hampton had to be taken out. Brown was, by the way, great in the film, especially on how women were treated. “As I like to say, we didn’t get these brothers from revolutionary heaven.”
She is still a force of nature, that’s for certain. ;-)
There’s a long comment on Fred Hampton and others’ drug programs is fascinating, as well as his mention of how Gary Webb’s incredible series ‘The Dark Alliance’, “Nicaraguan Contra supplied cocaine and weapons with the full knowledge and consent, (definitely no interdiction) by the CIA and others” fit in.
Emory Douglas worked as the Minister of Culture for the Black Panther Party from 1967 until the Party disbanded in the 1980s. He’s still alive and painting murals in Oakland; Bobby Seale moved back to Oakland in 2002, and has been ‘working with young political advocates to influence social change’. (Wiki) (Bobby’s website)
Emory Douglas’s (website link) artwork was naturally featured liberally in the film; it provided a breath-taking look at the Panther zeitgist . He was Minister of Culture for the Black Panther party, from February,1967 until the early 1980’s. ‘Douglas’s art and design concepts were always seen on the front and back pages of the Black Panther Newspaper, reflecting the politics of the Black Panther Party and the concerns of the community.’ Showing some of it won’t act as a spoiler; you’ll note how insanely relevant some images are today.
(this is hard to look away from, isn’t it?)
a Panther Paper, 25 cents