Watch: M.I.A.’s ultra-violent ‘Born Free’ music video

04.26.10 8 years ago 2 Comments

Beatings, tear gas, nudity, profanity: Happy Monday!

Last Friday brought us the harmless version of M.I.A.’s “Born Free.” Today we have the ultra-violent version, in the form of a Romain Gavras-directed music video, posted below and on her website.

The four minute track has been extended to nine, to accompany the plot course of American military personnel rounding up and annihilating those of the redheaded persuasion. You heard that right.

Bursting through the doors of an apartment building, soldiers beat some of its inhabitants with batons and their fist, in search of one particular male who’s hiding in his shower. The teen is thrown into the back of a bus with more “gingers,” and as it rolls through town, there’s images of revolution literally etched on the walls. Their uncaptured brethren throw rocks at the vehicles, which trek out to the desert.

The prisoners are forced into the field and told to start running. They know nothing good comes of that, so they stay put until a mere child has its head graphically blown off. The group takes off, becoming targets for practice. One by one they’re struck down, by grenades, gunfire, mortars, the ilk. Body parts get sprayed across the landscape.

The theme of rebellion and a police state is no new terrain for M.I.A., a Sri Lankan who’s seen some pretty harsh — and very real — violence with her own eyes.

Redheads get guff from Scotland to Australia for their genetically inherited trait and by making them the State’s enemy, it opens it up to commentary on the random and absurdist nature of discrimination of any race, sex, creed. Also, did you notice that the folks early in the video who got the butt of the gun were mostly overweight?

But the message has the trappings of a rated-R flick (note: not anything we haven’t seen before consistently in our favorite movies) in a YouTube world. So the video site has taken it down, to which M.I.A. has playfully Tweeted “Boooooooo.”

Gavras was behind another video of seemingly random violence, Justice’s “Stress.”

M.I.A. has posted a pic of a tentative tracklist of her forthcoming album, still untitled, due June 29.

[Watch the video after the jump…]

M.I.A, Born Free from ROMAIN-GAVRAS on Vimeo.

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