MIA’s latest video is so graphic YouTube banned it in the US. “Born Free,” directed by Romain Gavras and released yesterday, shows US soldiers forcing redheaded men and boys into a bus, driving them to the desert, then shooting, beating, and blowing them up. In addition to the (extremely graphic) violence, the video also features sex and full-frontal nudity. So is it a political statement or a publicity stunt?
It draws “potent comparisons to many of the US government's questionable decisions in the past decade, from the treatment of terror suspects to the recent immigration laws passed in Arizona,” writes Daniel Kreps in Rolling Stone. Or maybe it’s just “a shortcut to invaluable Internet buzz and potential album sales that come with it,” counters Michael Slezak in Entertainment Weekly. “This is, after all, the same woman who just a few weeks back courted controversy by basically accusing Lady Gaga of copying her style.”