Black Panther & Farewell Chadwick Boseman
This is quite possibly the hardest movie review I have ever written. The Black Panther review has been in my drafts folder for so long. Now it has to be written. It is also so hard to write because I am also saying farewell to Chadwick Boseman.
And I cry a lot.
Thursday, February 15, 2018: I am in my car driving home from the sneak preview premiere of Black Panther. (Please, I’m a hard core MCU fan and geek – I see all the sneak previews.)
I knew it would be big. I had seen on my geek feeds many black nerds – aka blerds – share their excitement for the Black Panther movie. There was joy, anticipation, and discussion of costumes and beautiful clothes that would be worn when they went to the premiere. I could see the non-Geek community not understand how important this movie was. But I could see the blerds and other hardcore Geeks who love social justice get excited. It was going to be big.
I did not know it would be THAT big. Hooray!
So I am in my car behind another car at a stop light. My husband was with me and our hearts were filled with Black Panther. I thought back over the movie. I replayed in my mind the last scene of the movie. T’Challa, the Black Panther, has decided to open up Wakanda’s truth to the world. When asked, by a room of predominantly white people, what does Wakanda have to offer, he smiles. He, along with the audience know.
I still cry when I think of this moment.
I cried in my car because I wanted that moment to be real. I wanted to wake up the next morning and hear that the King of Wakanda was going to share his country’s wealth with the world. The world would finally see a beautiful culture of equality, living in harmony with nature and one another. A culture that honored both men and women. That was the true wealth, the true gift.
I cried so hard.
Look I have dreamed hard in my heart to walk Tolkien’s Middle-earth. I know my profession in Harry Potter’s world. I would love being any crew member in Star Fleet. I have ached for those worlds to manifest before me for years. And I would give all of that up to have Wakanda made real. To have the truth of Wakanda be here and now for us all.
Saturday, August 29, 2020: I have just heard the news. Chadwick Boseman has passed away. He had been battling colon cancer for four years. So when Black Panther was released he had been in the battle for a while. What a man. What a powerful human being. What grace. He was suffering and he allowed others to express only joy. Thank you, sir, thank you.
I asked myself how I could honor Mr. Boseman today. So I pulled out my tissues and decided to finish this review. Oh and I turned on Black Panther.
OVERALL: Please understand that no matter what I write, it will not be enough. This movie lifted my spirit. This movie was a gift to the world. I hoped this movie would be great. It was. It was beyond. Bless you Ryan Coogler for everything. I will praise this movie forever.
I waited for this movie and I am so glad it is here. See my previous posts about Black Panther: More Hallelujah to Sing! Black Panther is Officially Here! and a look at twisting racist tropes in the teaser trailer Trailers Teasers Previews: “Black Panther”.
POINTS: All of it, both in front of and behind the scenes. Director Ryan Coogler had a multi-racial crew and women in leadership positions. This is reflected in front of the screen. Men and women working together as powerful equals. I could not have asked for more.
FEMALE CHARACTER(S): YES!!!!!!!!!!! Just watch the movie and be enthralled by the wonderful women! I have had coworkers talk about how much they loved the women in the movie too. There are many: Nakia (Lupita Nyong’o), Okoye – The General (Danai Gurira), Shuri (Letitia Wright), and Queen Ramonda (Angela Bassett), which only names the top characters. They were all awesome!
CULTURAL PITFALL(S): None. Stone cold none. This movie kissed all of them good-bye. So excellent.
And before any of you go crying reverse racism (grow-up and just don’t), they even had a hero white man.
1.) The Battle Rhinos. I want one so bad.
2.) Shuri the genius teasing her brother.
3.) Okoye. I want to be her when I grow up. Read: Danai Gurira about being moved after meeting Martin Freeman’s son at the Black Panther’s European Premiere.
4.) Chadwick Boseman’s smile at the end. Wakanda Forever.
BECHDEL TEST (Website): YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
RACIAL BECHDEL TEST (Website): YES!!! I mean obviously and YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
IMDB: Black Panther (2018)
OFFICIAL MOVIE WEBSITE: Black Panther | Disney Movies
DVD/BLU-RAY WORTHY: Own it. Watch it.
LION PAW PRINTS: 5 of 5. So wow.
AFTERWARD: A REQUEST
So there you have it. Words did fail me. Words fail this movie, this cultural experience, this enlightenment for our souls. So now I make a request.
I request that we all give each other the Wakanda Forever salute. Each and every one of us. So that Wakanda may start to become real. So that we may look into each other’s eyes and see and honor the human in each other. So that one day Wakanda will not be a fictional place, but a home. A home that covers the entire world.
Marvel Studios’ Black Panther – Official Trailer