Panther

Tucson Weekly

DIRECTED BY: Mario Van Peebles

REVIEWED: 05-11-95

Nobody can say that Mario Van Peebles lacks energy. His docudrama about the rise and fall of the Black Panther Party is aswirl with camera movement, Oliver Stone-esque editing, blustering rhetoric and non-stop gunplay. What Mario Van Peebles does lack is restraint, and that's a big problem. Not only does it become increasingly exhausting to try to keep up with who's who among the complicated network of key Panthers, but the facts are stretched to such extremes you leave the theater wondering if anything presented was true. The film ends by explaining that the FBI introduced cheap drugs into black neighborhoods in order to discourage black activism, and that's the reason drugs have so corroded our society.

--Zachary Woodruff

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