Spike Lee’s Malcolm X

Spike Lee’s biopic of Malcolm X has always been one of my favourite films, despite my general dislike to Spike Lee, and the (probably well placed) concerns voiced by such African revolutionaries as Amiri Baraka prior to the films’s 1992 release. My one big gripe though with the film and much of the mainstream history of Malcolm’s life is that it overlooks his later “conversion” to radical anti-capitalist positions, something that he himself noted many times.

No, he wasn’t a “socialist” or a “communist” in the Eurocentric and settlerist ideological framework (meaning he was not a “Marxist” or an “anarchist”), but rather identified with the communal socialist ideas that had grown within so many of anti-colonial revolutions. This transformation, which really began to pick up steam in the last year of his life, is one of the most important aspects of his evolving views, and it gets “forgotten” by so many, and probably not without reason (the black bourgeoisie and petty bourgeoisie, which includes Spike Lee, can’t afford to have one of their largely proletarian constituents’ heroes being a radical anti-capitalist).

That aside, in celebration of African Liberation Month, Malcolm X and all the other people who given their lives in the struggle for African freedom, both in Africa and in North America, I have posted the entire film here for your viewing pleasure.


Posted on February 9, 2011, in National Liberation and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Despite the film’s problems, that you rightly indicated, it still has one of the all time best film openings. I was in grade nine when it was released and living in Portland Oregon, around a year after the LA riots, and I remember the controversy the film caused, especially with the opening. In fact most of the film’s rightist critics kept harping on the opening and, because of this, it was temporarily banned from theatres in the African American neighbourhoods in the city (which caused demonstrations)… All of which was both confusing and educational for a 14 year-old Canadian who still had no real understanding of American history.

  2. I liked to movie, if only because it helps to dispel some of the myths that many people hold about malcolm x.

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