Scared of Revolution
Umar Bin Hassan hasn’t even hit 70 yet, but he walks with difficulty and there’s sadness and fatigue in his eyes. As a member of The Last Poets, a group of performance poets who expressed the progressive spirit of the times starting in the late 1960s, he was a major influence on later hip-hop artists. In one of his best-known pieces, "Ni****s Are Scared of Revolution", he criticizes his black brothers’ destructive, macho behavior.
Scared of Revolution concentrates on Hassan’s personal life, in which he still fights his demons. He grew up poor with a violent, unpredictable father, which in turn left him with an inferiority complex. In the course of his adult life, he has had a string of bad relationships and left children without a father figure. In his darkest hour, he also battled a crack addiction.
“Deep inside, Umar was scared of the revolution himself,” says fellow member of The Last Poets Abiodun Oyewole. But Hassan takes control of his life again, breaks the destructive cycle and does his best to be the devoted father and grandfather that he was never fortunate enough to have.
In the 12 Steps Program of Narcotics Anonymous (NA) the fourth step is described as “We made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves,”— I was reminded of this while watching Daniel Krikke’s deeply moving documentary’s “Scared of Revolution” because it’s a searing portrait of Umar Bin Hassan, a former addict, and member of the highly influential spoken-word group The Last Poets. - Lapacazo Sandoval (Los Angeles Sentinel)
Sound: 2.0 Stereo
- "Daniel Krikke's documentary provides a deeply intimate portrait of Umar Bin Hassan, a member of the highly influential spoken-word group The Last Poets."
- "...deeply moving.... “Scared of Revolution” is an excellent film about one man’s journey to find himself."
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