Thursday, February 26, 2009

Chisholm '72: Unbought & Unbossed

Shola Lynch's Chisholm '72: Unbought & Unbossed (2004, 2005) uses a mix of split-screen techniques, music straight out of Shaft (1971), Cleopatra Jones (1973) and Foxy Brown (1974), and intermittent scroll worthy of an exciting election night to tell the tale of Shirley Chisholm's run for the Democratic presidential nomination in 1972. The viewer is thrown into the fray with Chisholm herself (at the time and near the end of her life) punctuating the story throughout. "If you understand power," she says in a 1972 clip, "then you know what I'm trying to put together."

It's a wild ride that includes Chisholm (including three assassination attempts), George Wallace (shot in Maryland during the primary campaign), Ed Muskie (effectively knocked out of the race for personal reasons), Hubert H. Humphrey and George McGovern vs. the Nixon-Agnew juggernaut, with the Vietnam War as backdrop. "You do your thing and you let me do mine," Chisholm quips to those breaking for other candidates. It's as complex and fierce a struggle as angling to become Shogun.

Shirley Chisholm -- change agent, way paver, contender. And a whole lot more, from NOW leader to progressive prophet, some thirty-seven years ahead of her time.

The website:

We're talking Greek Tragedy, American-style. Chisholm makes it all the way to the July convention in Miami before conceding (along with Muskie and Hubert Humphrey); McGovern becomes Democratic candidate, only to be crushed in the general election by Nixon and Agnew, who in turn are forced out of office thanks to high crimes and misdemeanors.

Dear readers, Chisholm '72: Unbought & Unbossed is a hip, worthy and timeless documentary. I dig.

Today's Rune: Fertility.


Charles Gramlich said...

It was a time of idealism crushed by nasty old politics as usual.

the walking man said...

Erik...I am probably a traitor to my generation and everything that came after it, but I have come to the conclusion it was all bullshit.

Bullshit that lead to more backwards bullshit. Here we are in 2009 fighting the same fights with a different cast of idiots in the ring but still no judge scoring a card to break the tie.

The past 60 years have been a total waste of humanity, time, resources and sadly I doubt there is anyone in the arena or on the horizon who will be able to send the planet spinning off in to a new direction. Why?

Because of the bullshit that still remains of the "counter-culture" turned "pop."

The sad fact of the matter is Shirley Chisolm and all of them who actually stood for something, Muskie, Humphrey, Eagleton, McGovern, and on and on really didn't leave much beyond a fingerprint in the annal of the records. Look to the recent historical records and the fools that are most often detailed on the pages.

Erik Donald France said...

Thanks, y'all for the comments.

WM, not sure what you mean here. Bono? Rush?

the walking man said...

Bushes Limbaughs Spears Hiltons on and on and on take a pick and throw the dart, you'll hit a fool before you do one of consequence.