Looking sideways at M.I.A’s Born Free

MIA’s new video clip for her song Born Free has been causing a bit of a stir since its release for a number of reasons. The main one is that it’s a no holds barred clip, full of controversy and some extreme violence and gore.

Watch it below, if you’ve got a strong stomach, or if you’ve got red or ginger hair and want to scare the shit out of yourself. I warn you, it is pretty full on.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “M.I.A – Born Free“, posted with vodpod

The clip was actually removed from YouTube by owners Google because it apparently broke the terms and conditions related to posting content to the video sharing giant.

That aside, the clip has received a mixed reaction, as has the song. I’ve got to say the lyrics are pretty lame, but the clip, on the other hand, gave me a lot more. It really bears little relation to the sentiment of the song in my opinion, other than its’ all about being different in some way.

But there is a ridiculous side to the clip, directed by Romain Gavras, that mirrors a lot of what goes on in societies across the world. The notion of a bunch of armed police rounding up redheads and taking them off to a remote location to maim and kill them is something that would never happen – you’d hope – in any civilised society. Yet it is no different to a lot of things that do go on in those same societies.

Think Israel and Palestine, Germany and much of the world during the World Wars, Saddam and the Kurds in Iraq, Britain and Northern Ireland, the US and Vietnam (to name one of the man places its bowled into uninvited), South Africa and its black population, Croatia and  Serbia, or vice-versa, and, dare I say it, Australia and Britain and the indigenous population Down Under.

In all these cases, and many more, the dominant individual has pushed its view over the few by often in violent and unacceptable means. It’s not good enough given how far we’ve come as a race, yet still it occurs far too often. Politicians can spout peace and love for human kind as much as they want, yet again and again they fail to practice what they preach.

There are obviously deep rooted issues that have led to the continuation of most of the conflicts that have been live in my lifetime and many of them still will be when I’m dead and gone. But in a world full of individuals, we still fail to respect that we are in fact individuals and biologically built not to conform if it doesn’t agree with us. Even our democracies impose laws that many disagree with.

I’m not calling for anarchy, just common sense. Like millions, nay billions of others across the world, MIA’s song, and Gavras’s interpretation of it more so, should make us all think about that.

Congratulations to him for putting it out there, and I look forward to the sequel, as will my redheaded mother, sister and uncle 🙂

3 thoughts on “Looking sideways at M.I.A’s Born Free

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