The Angola 3: Black Panthers & The Last Slave
Plantation (PM Press/MVD DVD)
C Sound: C+ Extras: C- Main Program: C+
of The Black Panthers is one of distortion and is still not over, as it turns
out. As this posts, the story of Herman
Wallace, Robert Wilson King (now released) and Albert Woodfox continues with
two of The Angola 3 still in prison.
This new political film (half documentary/half propaganda) The Angola 3: Black Panthers & The Last
Slave Plantation is narrated by no less than Mumia Abu-Jamal (a death row
inmate dubbed a political prisoner for killing a police officer, though
supporters agree) telling the story of the last remaining achievements of the
FBI’s COINTELPRO program.
interviews of friends and survivors of the original events, mixed with fine
stock footage and documents you are likely not going to see anywhere else, the
tale unwinds of how the FBI could have cared less about the Panthers rights
because they saw them as a huge threat.
It can be argued that the agency broke in Gestapo-style (as has been
suggested) to kill some of the leadership at Panther HQ. We learn that murder is also the reason two
of the three remain in prison, charged with killing a guard.
from the program are the more violent leanings of the organization and despite
the nice, favorable interviews with women here, the sexist, misogynist charter
that helped bring the Panthers down outside of the FBI. What the program also fails to note is that
The Panther Party started to support Maoist ideas and Communism combined with
violent threats, which is pretty much the point of no return where the U.S.
Government and other sin power (including some of the African American
middle-to-upper class) had had enough.
program is at least as much propaganda as anything, which means I could only
take so much of it as fact and write it up as shaky when it comes to any kind
of truth. Now you can see for yourself.
X 1 image is choppy with low-quality analog NTSC video and shaky transfers of
the vintage footage, but that is often the quality of these left-wing
productions. Abu-Jamal narration is as
clear as can be expected as the PCM 16/48 2.0 sound is barely stereo itself
from the interviews of those not currently in prison. The extras include a long trailer and Music
Video in case we missed something.
- Nicholas Sheffo