M.I.A.’s new video for her single “Born Free” was released Monday on her website. More of a short film, the 9:05 minute clip is directed by French director Romain Gavras. Thanks to Gavras known for his politically charged work with filmmaking collective Koutrajme, we can still view the video recently yanked by YouTube.

To put it plainly the video is necessary. A work so inflated with warfare, “others” and interrupted naked loving bodies, it’s a bit odd that for many of us it’s a breath of fresh air. We kind of miss provocative statements in the once raging against the anything machine now diluted with pop antics and sunglasses made of cigarettes. But “Born Free” is no easy watch–M.I.A doesn’t even appear in the short. Then again most artists over industry fakery opt for video absence. Unlike George Michael’s exploding jukeboxes in “Freedom,” “Born Free” displays bodies blown away at the call of USA military bombs–the narrative doesn’t call for celebrity appearances–not even the artist herself. “Born Free” is easily one of the most radical music videos in the past decade. A welcomed follow-up to Erykah Badu’s controversial “Window Seat.” We wouldn’t expect anything less from the Sri Lankan emcee. Let’s all hold our breath for more artists to follow suit.

I won’t get into the video’s cultural references or its brilliant play on the transnational police state. We encourage you to watch for yourself. What I will say is “Born Free” sends you. A strange paradox for today’s pop cultural spectator–rather than wondering who what wore, I’m thinking: my God, did he just blow that kid’s head off?

M.I.A.’s new album not yet titled is expected for release this year.

WARNING: video contains extreme graphic content

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Photo Source: MTV News

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