“You gotta believe something, why not believe in me?” That is the catchy but profound refrain from the Pointer Sisters’s funky 1976 rhythm and blues song You Gotta Believe. Written by Norman Whitfield and performed by the African-American women group singing about the revolution, the song was already timeless in many ways.
Now, cartoonist and animator Nina Paley has given it her own quirky twist with a new music video (above). The animator, known for work like Sita Sings the Blues, and for being a radical feminist, gave the song a unique makeover with a feminist narrative.
“Why not believe in Her?” she wrote in the description of the video, which shows animated figures of goddesses dancing and confronting the Christian prophet Moses. The lyrics take on a deeply feminist tone as the animated goddesses sing and demand to know from a disgruntled Moses, “Tell me brother what have I, I, done to you, to make you mean and treat me the way you do?”
Paley explained on her blog, “Moses is confronted by the goddesses the Patriarchy is about to crush.” However, the patriarchy looks far from crushing in the music video, where the goddesses ultimately take over. If only.