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Really good movie. Keen insight into the Black Panther Party organization. I admire what they stood for & they're relentlessness. In my opinion, they fought to uphold their community's God-given right to life. They weren't provokers, they were protectors & not enough education is presented in schools about them. Thank you for this movie. #Freetheblackpanthers
I was a politically active adult during the 1960s-and thereafter, and there was much paranoia, suspicion, and misinformation, some of it "self-generated" by those seeking justice. The "revelations" about "COINTELPRO" occurred during the mid-1970s and later. That's where the problems begin:
Much has been ascribed to that program, and to J. Edgar Hoover, but little verified with any degree of certainty. Sure, there's much "certain" speculation, and attribution, by the Left.
But like the JFK assassination, there is an ongoing -- and growing -- cottage industry of "infotainment"; an example is the Jim Marrs "theory" that JFK was shot from four directions -- a totally bogus confabulation for the breathless "fans" of such trash. Not all that long ago, PBS ran a documentary of forensics experts at Boston University School of Medicine who evaluated the primary evidence -- including the falsely-alleged "missing" skull x-rays. Those x-rays, and the other evidence, were shown on camera, and showed that the Warren Commission was correct.
But who started all the "conspiracy" "theories"? Mark Lane, ostensibly Oswald's lawyer, by doing what lawyers do: pointing at anything and everything other than his client. If innocent, why did Oswald murder the cop -- which was witnessed?
I knew at least as much as anyone at the time what the Black Panthers were about. But who did they turn out to be? You had the weasel, under the "squeeze" of going to prison for crimes he committed. It was difficult to tell who was who, but street thugs and criminals -- hustlers -- were well represented. I still have Eldridge Cleaver's "Soul On Ice," bought and read around the time of publication. He told/wrote a convincing story about how he was framed for the killing of a cop. Then shortly before he died he admitted having killed the cop.
Kaluuya doesn't look much like Fred Hampton, and Hampton's "speeches," if those were actually used, were embarrassingly lacking in any substance beyond the slogan, "I am a revolutionary". So where was the attributed "charisma"?
The film is murky, most of it taking place in the dark, and the unclear dialogue leaves the listener in the dark. No joke: the only "illumination" was that, aside from a few "intellectuals," most of the Panthers, at least under Hampton, were street thugs, convicts -- hustlers. That doesn't mean J. Edgar Hoover, the F.B.I., and the cops were not racist -- they certainly were. But we are back to the original problem:
I was expecting a script based upon the existing official record -- which has always been sparse. What we "know" about COINTELPRO is more rumor and conjecture than fact, to the end that anything at all can be ascribed to it. It becomes yet another "Invisible Hand" "conspiracy" behind everything we do see. It is a stew of beliefs and convictions about, and attributions to, "COINTELPRO," and a romanticized image of the Black Panthers, that is tantamount to "religion": full of emotional fervor, and "faith," but not a lot of reliable information.
Disappointing; but it does show that there was much less to work with than the perpetuated "history" has promised.
I need my money back. Waste of time and money. I got so bored, I went on social media. Documentaries are way better than this movie. The movie is meant to be the icing on the cake with little or no knowledge one has.
Someone who does not know the history of Fred Hampton, the black panthers, crowns, etc will never really understand the struggles.