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Black Panther

I loved this film! Chadwick Boseman plays T’Challa (the Black Panther). At the start of the film, he goes back to his home country of Wakanda to assume the role of King after his father dies. The film chronicles his quest to retain leadership over the country once he encounters an old nemesis. There is no question that the film represents a defining moment in the Marvel Comics (MC) enterprise and (okay, maybe just a bit hyperbolic) even in cinema. While its action scenes are satisfying and the special effects impressive, what elevates Black Panther are its well-developed characters and an involved and substantial story rooted in African / African-American culture and history. Wakanda represents a flip of the traditional American white patriarchal rule to one that is effectively governed by Wakandans and in which women play key roles in the leadership of the country. Where there is humor, it is pointed and laugh-out-loud funny. The music is a rich combination of traditional African rhythms, hip-hop, and pop. I loved the final scenes between the Black Panther and his nemesis – so much compassion, responsibility, and recognition of a history they both share. Huge thumbs-up for a film that is thought-provoking and provides much to reflect on given the current national and international landscape. Black Panther will undoubtedly gain recognition at awards time. Even if you are not a fan of the MC films, this one is worth seeing for the underlying story – Black heroes, white heroes, male heroes, and female heroes. I enjoyed this film for similar reasons that I liked Wonder Woman (DC Comics) so much. I hope that there are more MC films just like this one. I also looked up the director Ryan Coogler – he is the same person who directed Fruitvale Station and Creed.

About Gary Burkholder

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