Scared of Revolution

Directed by Daniel Krikke
Film Movement
72 Minutes
Documentary, Music, Black Cinema

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.

Director & Cast

  • Director: Daniel Krikke
  • Starring: Umar Bin Hassan
  • Starring: Abiodun Oyewole
  • Starring: Bill Laswell
  • Starring: Baba Donn Babatunde

Where to Watch




  • "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."
    Frank Scheck, The Hollywood Reporter
  • "...deeply moving.... “Scared of Revolution” is an excellent film about one man’s journey to find himself."
    Lapacazo Sandoval, Los Angeles Sentinel
  • "Hassan is lucky to be alive, and we are lucky to befriend him at this period in his life. This "rockstar", who has lived what Adler describes as an "itinerant" lifestyle, is tired but also trying to correct his mistakes. And it is that humility from such an intelligent and accomplished individual that makes watching Scared of Revolution a rewarding experience."
    Rudy Martinez, Pop Matters
  • "It’s a warm portrait, warts and all...."
    Movie Nation
Official Selection