If you haven’t seen Black Panther or at least heard about it, you must be living under a rock. Director Ryan Coogler’s cinematic superhero masterpiece has taken the world by storm. Black Panther has topped $1.2 billion in worldwide theatrical receipts, meaning Black Panther is well on its way to becoming the all-time highest grossing solo superhero film in all of cinematic history. As well as its own solo success, like being the first Marvel movie to get a TIME magazine cover and having a 97% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, Avengers: Infinity War opens in cinemas in the UK on April 27th and heavily features Wakanda and Black Panther himself meaning we’ll be seeing even more of the characters.
Black Panther is the most tweeted about movie of all time and this is not only because it’s simply an amazing film. Whilst the plot itself is incredible, the film also celebrates blackness – it doesn’t rely on a white ally to save them, more so shows they’re capable of doing everything themselves. This film empowers black people everywhere, it breaks stereotypes and changes perspectives. 20 years ago, a film based solely around black people and their culture, wouldn’t have even made it to production and yet today it is breaking box office records further proving that the world is tired of one dimensional characters within films. Not only does the film tackle serious issues such as racism, slavery and colonialism but also shows a badass team of all black warrior women who are king T’Challa’s personal group of warriors.
This is an entirely different perspective compared to the Justice League which offered an over-sexualised version of the Amazon warriors from Wonder Woman. Black Panther is important, not only does it allow women to finally become visible in an industry where they’re often the background characters but, shows a strong black man who is rich, successful and strong as a great representation to young black men everywhere who are all so often given media representations of black men as only existing in ghettos who can never be more than society and the media tells them they can be.
In this film, Marvel portrays Africa with a completely different voice than what it is often given by a lot of film companies – it shows Africa and its people as strong, smart and technological advanced. Black Panther is a film that has been needed within the industry for far too long, it paths the way for more films where the black character is no longer the funny, sassy best friend but as the person who is in charge, successful and powerful as well as existing outside of Tyler Perry films. Black Panther is a must see and features so many amazing actors such as Chadwick Boseman, Michael B. Jordan, Daniel Kaluuya, Lupita Nyong’o, Angela Bassett and Letitia Wright (who plays Shuri and is literally my favourite). If you still haven’t seen the film and are wondering if the hype is just hype, let me reinforce that it is NOT and it’s an incredible film which features strong actors, powerful performances, important storylines and gorgeous cinematography.
Illustration by Ali Myers