directed by Goran Olsson
In what has already been a great year for documentaries (The Cave of Forgotten Dreams, Senna), Goran Olsson’s stellar doc about a small slice of our nation’s history is, remarkably, fresh and engrossing. Mixtape’s story is not unlike the story of Al Reinert’s breathtaking doc For All Mankind in that Mixtape is composed entirely of found footage and contemporary VO interviews from vital Black voices (this seems to be the winning alchemy this year) like Erykah Badu and Talib Kweli, interviews that both shine a light upon certain moments and revelations as well as lament the nebulous state of “progress” in which we currently find ourselves. Just as many other critics have pointed out, and with good reason, I was so moved by the small segment in which a quiet, coaxing Stokely Carmichael, sitting on a small sofa, interviews his mother about the injustice of inequality she endured as a young woman. The film carries with it no grand presumption, as it states in the beginning of the film, other than to present a distilled collage of how Swedish journalists and filmmakers approached and viewed this epochal stage of our country’s development, the moments, people and situations that moved them. And the result is out of sight, a wonderful alternative perspective to ponder. To think that Olsson pieced this together from reels and reels of film languishing in a Swedish television company’s basement is a true miracle, and I am thankful that someone was able to bring it all back to life.