Wednesday, February 28, 2018

What Does The Black Panther Movie Tell Us about Black People?

The Black Panther Warrior Women
The Black Panther movie tells us a great deal about Black/African people, psychology, traditions and potential.  I saw the film last night and I enjoyed it immensely. It is doing brilliantly at the box office, breaking all kinds of records, as well it should. 
 
Lest we forget, the first Marvel comic films were the Blade trilogy, which did so well at the box office that they enabled Marvel to bankroll all the other superhero films they subsequently produced, yet, somehow, they have been left out of the Marvel narrative.

Further, lest we forget, Black filmmakers, notably Oscar Michaux, have been making films giving positive depictions of Black filmmakers since at least 1919.

I have a few quibbles about The Black Panther, as follows (this contains spoilers): 
  • I do not like to see two Black men duking it out as they do in the film, albeit displaying awesome fighting skills;  
  •  I particularly disliked seeing Black men and women fighting each other on the battlefield, and I'm not even sure what they were fighting about; 
  • The brother from U.S. appeared conflicted – he addresses a white woman as “Coloniser” and makes reference to the plunder of African artefacts, yet he partners with a white thief of, and dealer in, such artefacts;
  • Perhaps my strongest objection is to Martin Freeman's role – he plays a duplicitous, double-dealing CIA man (in other words, a CIA man) who allies with the Wakandans and, at the end of the film, is shown in the United Nations like some kind of benevolent paternalistic figure.
Having said all that, the visuals are amazing, the storyline and the depiction of African people as masters of technology are – well, masterful, and The Black Panther offers us a largely positive view of African people and traditions. The Wakandans, from the fictional African state of Wakanda, are depicted as kings, queens and heroes. And the movie is highly entertaining.  
 
The Black Panther is a dazzling sci-fi romp.  I am old enough to remember a time when Black people did not exist in the future, i.e. in science fiction.  So I greatly enjoy this film's strong characters. 


The characters' inner and outer conflicts mirror, to a certain extent, similar conflicting emotions within and among people from the Diaspora and the African Continent. I found this fascinating. 
 
One thing I particularly liked was that the men, and the women, were so beautiful to look at and so strong, brave and fearless. These sistas looked awesome. The characters carried themselves with great pride and dignity and the sistas were warriors, fully ready to throw down. 
 
I need to see this film again, soon, to gain clarity and because it is such great fun!  If you have not seen it yet, see it! 

What did you think of The Black Panther movie?  Please share this with your networks and please leave your comments below. Thanks.  
 

2 comments:

Anne Jennings said...

I,too,very much enjoyed Black Panther, and one of the many things I enjoyed about it was the struggle between the two main protagonists. Not so much the actual fighting (which was awesome) but the argument. This is one of the arguments that we as Black people have been having for quite some time: if we had the means, would we utterly destroy our enemies as retribution for what they have done to us throughout the centuries, or would we remember our humanity? Should we act like them, or should we act like Wakandans? Interesting that this argument was not completely resolved.

I did not like the final scene at the UN, because I wanted more explanation as to how the Wakandans were planning to "share" their technology. You can imagine how that might end. The white people in the film were called "colonizers" for a reason.

I suspect that Zhana did not like the Martin Freeman character because she does not like the actor. He was portrayed as a clueless American, but I thought that he was pretty much humanized by his actions in the war. And he did a pretty good American accent, which seems to be hard for a lot of Brits. But frankly, I didn't trust any of those UN people.

I agree that the sistas were dynamite. Of course, we have seen Danai Gurira each week in her role in The Walking Dead, in which she manages to slay twenty-five living and/or dead people in every episode, but it was wonderful to see her do it on the big screen. I especially appreciated seeing Angela Does Not Age Bassett looking beautiful in her Zulu headdress. I have loved her for a long long time. And did you notice that the King had women of a certain age as advisors to the throne? That is very African. They must have had an anthropologist or two on the writing team.

I am looking forward to reading other comments here.

Zhana21 said...

Brilliant answer. I have not seen Danai Gurira, though, as I don't watch The Walking Dead. And although Martin Freeman did a great American accent, I did not like this role as the paternalistic white person. And what was his agenda?