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MIA releases video for "Born Free": NSFW, polarizing, and possibly meaningless

Ginger Apocalypto

Ginger Apocalypto

A hoveled apartment complex gets raided: scenes of crack smoking, fatty fornication, and relentless brutality by some such security force. Within a sea of carrot-topped and supposed ne'er-do-wells is an/our anti-hero, one FAS-afflicted scowl you could confidently diagnose with ODD. A group of ginger freedom fighters sporting red kaffiyehs hoot and holler, ineffectual. As a short film the video is completely engrossing, a perfect storm of car crash sad, odd, and violent, filmed beautifully and expensively. Something's happening, right?

Respectable minds attempt to unpack:

"Faddish political pastiche."

"Goofy political allegory."

"Repositioning tool."

"Like an episode of 24."

It's notable that the day MIA releases a new video she has also taken over Pitchfork's twitter account, which so far she has been using for nothing more than self-promotion. I think the music video for an internationally known artist was designed to do the same thing. People have long mused on the political bend of MIA's work, usually arriving at the crossroads of commerce and not-really-sure. "Born Free" doesn't stray. Also, the song isn't that great.