Today I came across M.I.A. “Born Free,” directed by and shot by AndrÃ© Chemetoff. I was reluctant to watch in fear of choking on another “Slumdog,” but I clicked anyway, curious to see what Gavras has been up to since the Jusâ€ ice “Stress” video.
At first I was blown away by the stunning visuals and use of motion. I was also taken back by what seamed like random apartment raids and acts of police brutality. The lack of plot had my mind racing in all directions as I tried to figure out what was happening. The simplicity of each characters’ motivation put the visuals on a pedestal as very delicate soundbites weaved in and out of another blah M.I.A. song.
When the plot kicks in, it takes the video in a whole different direction. The reality of police brutality and genocide mixed with a white trash ignorant America steams with controversy. But once you look past the “redhead” cliche, dimly lit plot, and the novelty of violence, all you have is a series of beautifully choreographed scenes. And without the touch of AndrÃ© Chemetoff this would have been another film school thesis.