British star MIA's 'Born Free' video: hair-raising food for thought

Article published on June 22, 2010
Article published on June 22, 2010
Imagine a world where redheads or strawberry blonds are not only mocked but tracked down and exterminated. This is the premise of French director Romain Gavras’s latest short which provides the music video for the Sri Lankan British star

If there ever was a master of music videos which aestheticise and idealise violence, it would have to be Romain Gavras, a 28-year-old French director bursting with talent and looking to provoke. His latest productions speak for themselves. In Stress, the shocking video clip of the band Justice, a gang of youths full of hatred from the Parisian suburbs descend on the French capital and destroy everything in their path. Born Free, a video clip produced by British Sri Lankan singer M.I.A. from her third studio album, follows directly in the footsteps of Stress: it is a massive shock to the system lasting eight minutes and fifty-three seconds, which makes your blood run cold... and forces you to think.

Gavras, son of Greek-born acclaimed director Costas Gavras, is already the talk of the town because of this hyper-violence. Video online platform Youtube even banned it on the very day it was released, on 23 April. But it did not scare the Puy du Babel French blogger who 'fully supports the filmmaker’s approach. Redheads too have a right to share in the media exposure - after all, they are a visible minority just like any other!' But did it have to be portrayed from this angle?

Follow the debate on Puy de Babel, the blog of the local team in Clermont Ferrand

Screenshot: MIA Bornfree OFFICIAL @ Worldtown/ Youtube