M.I.A. makes her stance utterly clear with ‘Born Free’ video [UPDATED]
April 27, 2010 | 11:14 am
M.I.A. protested in the all-caps mode she favors when the rattling, violent video for her brash new single “Born Free” was pulled from YouTube early Tuesday morning. After using Twitter to blame her record label and then retracting that accusation – YouTube itself removed the short film by French director Romain Gavras for its graphic content, which included a child being shot in the head and a young man being blown up by a land mine – she simply declared, “BOOOOOOOOO” and provided a link to the “Born Free” video on her own website.
For those who haven’t seen the clip, it’s a docudrama-style depiction of American military forces rounding up members of a targeted minority in an unnamed city, taking them to the desert and executing them. Much-discussed reference points include the Peter Watkins 1971 countercultural film “Punishment Park” and, because the raided people have red hair, the South Park episode “Ginger Kids,” which satirized the idea of targeted minority groups by putting redheads in the victim role.
In fact, Gavras will soon release his directorial debut, “Redheads,” which takes the plot of the M.I.A. video feature-length and promises to be both ultra-violent and free of Kenny jokes. His work with the filmmaking collective Kourtrajme, which he co-founded, and on videos for other artists (most notably the French electronic duo Justice, whose song “Stress” became the backdrop to Gavras’ blunt depiction of Paris gang violence) lands smack in the middle of what’s long been fruitful ground for political filmmakers, including Gavras’ own father, Constantinos “Costa” Gavras: the killing field where dramas of racial prejudice, institutional control and minority resistance are enacted.
WARNING WARNING WARNING
I’m not sure if this is allowed but this video has brief nudity (not sexy nudity either) and it’s pretty graphic. Totally NSFW. But it’s one of the greatest videos I’ve ever seen.
Edit If you want to see it, go to her webpage.