M.I.A’s video for ‘Born Free’ features a violent US military raid, nude sex, old men smoking crack, soldiers beating old women and a little kid getting his head blown off. And we should be surprised it got pulled from YouTube? Seems like a planned PR move. Well played.
M.I.A singing something about being famous is drowned out by a “sample”/straight loop of Suicide’s ‘Ghost Rider,’ but the real subjects of interest here are all the Gingers getting rounded up and mascaraed by US soldiers.
As political commentary, the Romain Gavras directed video seems to lump allusions to Taliban, Guantanamo, Iraqi insurgency and racism into one big hodgepodge, so it’s a tad unclear. And, it’s a little too “cool” and slick not to read as a displaced holocaust fantasy. There is a reason for that, however, as the video is based directly on a film, just made to look current to rile us all up:
['Punishment Park' is] a movie about a totalitarian state where young people are rounded up, brought out to a deserted area and essentially told if they could outrun the police, they could live, but that the police would basically be hunting them.
As it’s own separate entity, the video is arresting work. Even if it’s plagiarism as a political-esque provocateurism, it’s still pretty good.