What has been hidden in doc Hidden Colors 2: The Triumph of Melanin is a whole global history of black accomplishment, and so Tariq Nasheed’s film sets out to prove nothing less than the African origins of everything of worth in history, on a continent-by-continent basis: “Look at the Buddha’s hair!” pronounces KRS-One with self-evident relish. The MC is one of a revolving cast of talking heads that includes Nasheed himself. A fair enough talker, Nasheed badly needs an editor; I say this not simply because his movie is two and a half hours long, but because he has a seeming total inability to separate gibble-gabble from revealed truth, vital social concern from talk about Chemtrails and digressive subchapters with titles like “The Hidden Truth About Santa Claus.” Indeed, Nasheed seems incapable of waving off any conspiracy, be it regarding “the war on melanated people” (arguably real) or Shakespeare’s authorship of the King James Bible (absolutely not), each point illustrated via Google-search images and Second Life computer graphics. There is exactly one interviewee here who is always fully in charge of sense and facts: the only woman, Michelle Alexander. Her well-reasoned discussion of the American penal system is compelling, but it’s an embarrassment that she should be placed alongside the likes of Dr. Phil Valentine, a “metaphysician” whose malarkey about AIDS (“the so-called immunity system of the homosexual”) is a low point, as is Umar Johnson’s lionization of the late, unlamented Gaddafi and the odd nostalgia for segregation that runs throughout.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on December 5, 2012