by Elbert ‘Big Man’ Howard
The film by producer Stanley Nelson, entitled “The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution,” is a well-produced documentary with a specific focus. Nelson makes good use of footage of actual events and music from the era to serve as both a background and accompaniment for the main ingredient of this film – comments from a number of former Black Panther Party members, featuring mainly some of the so-called “rank and file” members. This is, in and of itself, a unique achievement, as most other films have never done this, but solely relied on interviews with the leaders.
This particular film concentrates on giving the viewer a closer look at the Black Panther Party from a particular perspective. It by no means even begins to tell the “whole story” of the Black Panther Party. No one film can do that – the Black Panther Party was the most revolutionary and progressive group of freedom fighters of modern times.
I think that Stanley Nelson produced the best film he could with the information, materials, time and money that he had to work with. He also did a good job of getting the film out there to allow as much of the public as possible the opportunity to see it.
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