TVD Radar: Scared of Revolution: The Untold Story of the Godfather
of Rap,
DVD and digital available 11/12

VIA PRESS RELEASE | Adapted from Christine Otten’s Book The Last Poets, this portrait of Umar Bin Hassan from director Daniel Krikke was an Official Selection of IDFA and Full Frame.

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, based on Christine Otten’s book, The Last Poets 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, as this intimate documentary portrait shows, 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.

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