A quiet, almost poetic approach to a short (52 min) documentary on Malcolm X, his life, philosophy and assassination.
Obviously 52 minutes isn't nearly enough to truly explore the man and his long complex journey, but Akomfrah instead provides insightful interview clips from many who knew Malcolm at various times in his life (shot more interestingly than most documentary 'talking heads'), interesting historic film clips, and many 'staged' moments.
But instead of trying to re-enact history (something that almost always fails), Akomfrah creates surreal almost painting-like tableaux; a young Malcolm standing staring at a bird cage. An older Malcolm, friends and family out of focus in the background, holding a sign that says "I made me".
These turn the film from a familiar documentary, into something more artistic and personal.
Far from the definitive film on Malcolm X, but a worthy addition to the exploration of his life, times and legacy.
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