The video for MIA’s new single “Born Free,” debuted recently to widespread criticism for its violent nature, and gruesome imagery.
The ten-minute long film was directed by Romain Gavras, and does not feature the rapper at all. Instead, it depicts the round-up and execution of a group of red-headed males by some sort of swat team.
The video has so far been banned from YouTube, apparently because of its graphic images. Still, however, it is a pointed artistic expression worth seeing. Here are five reasons why:
The film is presumably set in a society experiencing the mass genocide of red-heads. It is extremely political and depicts a scenario that is situated in the history of several countries around the world. MIA has experience dealing with genocide as a child in Sri Lanka and therefore her perspective on such travesties is both relevant and poignant.
Worthy By Comparison
We are bombarded daily with an influx of music videos making no coherent statement about anything that matters in the world. Youtube is awash with images of ignorance and grandiose nonsense. The ten minutes you would have spent watching bored teens have a laser sword fight could be spent taking in a stunning piece of political commentary.
Jay-Z announced that silly trends and fads would come to an end soon in favor of more meaningful hip-hop images in his infamous and desperately needed DOA. This video is purged of the narcissism that allows rappers to feel as though rap videos should be 5 minute montages of their own silly exploits. It is graphic, it is gruesome, it is thoughtful it is provocative. Watch and think for a change.
Art in Motion
Violence is nothing new to American media. Our movie business thrives on the profits of violent images and films. The video is probably no more graphic that any given image, in any given Tarrantino film. Its is undoubtedly a piece of art open to your interpretation.
MIA isthe daughter of a Tamil revolutionary who sought the creation of an independent state in Sri Lanka. She is experienced with political activism. This video is not necessarily a vein attempt at kicking up dust in order to boost album sales off the strength of the resulting controversy. It’s merely a drop in the bucket for MIA who has always been highly opinionated about political matters.
Go HERE to watch the full video.