When M.I.A did an interview for Q TV a few years ago, the host brought up her “Born Free” video, directed by Romain Gavras. The video created a lot of controversy, and M.I.A offered a perspective that I understood. I’m not quoting her exactly, but basically she says..it was just ketchup and fake blood, the real execution videos, no one gives a shit. I re-film it with some ginger people and some fake blood imported from China, and it’s the most horrific thing people have ever seen.
Although Romain Gavras is known as a provocative director, his presentations are not much different than what you see on the news every day. Police brutality, protests, executions, military aggression, violence, and gang-warfare are regular topics on the news. But for some reason, when it’s presented in a music video, suddenly it’s so over-the-top and inappropriate.
I’m happy that someone like Romain Gavras is out there, not being safe and presenting something that creates some dialogue. His work is brilliantly shot and executed, which is why I’m sharing his “Stress” video for Justice, “Born Free” and his newest video for Jay-Z and Kanye West, “No Church In The Wild”. His “Bad Girls” video for M.I.A, along with the behind the scenes video were posted in this previous Disco Droppings post.
– Jimi Jaxon