What questions does Marvel Comics “Black Panther” movie pose for us?
- How do we recover and overcome the sins of our fathers.?
- Is it possible that the powerful plant or the equally powerful mineral – that changes the world might be invented in some remote African village?
- How much of war is male egos? And in this film how do the women suceed in turning their power towards healing rather than conquest?
Does it make a difference that people of color have joined the mostly white club of directors and filmmakers. Kudos to Marvel for Black Panther and its director, Ryan Coogler. The performances are remarkable in the quality of the acting, beauty, grace and authenticity of the characters, The role of women in the drama, and the rescue of their country is worth a discussion. The genre is a Superhero Comic book genre. The main character Ch’alla appeared first in 1966, and overtime has rated at the 52nd most popular Super hero.
Black Panther is not only beautifully executed with strong performances especially notable are the performances of the women, Lupita Nygong’o as Nakia, Letita Wright as Suri, and Florence Kasumba as Ayo. The character portrayed by T’Challa by Chadwick Boseman, is one of the tradition of challenges that prove his earning leadership How can we build a future from poverty.
The theme of a kingdom in the hidden forests of Africa what has the key to the future and to a world peace is a timely message. My experience of African people, especially the women, is a remarkable strength overcoming the obstacles of poverty, failed governments and access to education. I find them also totally dedicated to building a better future for their country, and ready to take leadership into their own hands.The are strong in technology. It is a great message to youth of color that the smartest person in the story is a woman who has built the technology that fuels their civilization. And who plays the tradtiona role of ‘evil’ in this movie version that is now playing? Someone very like the sterotype of the aparthied Boers Africaans. Toally reckless in his valuing of himan life. The other evil is a California home grown young man who has been through the US military war in Afghanistan, and become a killer. He has a disarmingly casual cool demeanor, which some may think makes him not very believable. The face that so many people of color have suffered for so long from the effects of racism and had to wear a cool innocent face to get through life is not far from the truth of the hidden anger that mus be brewing – that we see now in Black Lives Matter.
This film provides a vision of rising up and conquering from the perspective of those have suffered, and as a good Superhero movie does, holds out for the good guys, the superheroes, to overcome evil and launch a future of peace and reconciliation. The fact that their skin color is not white, is a powerful message to people of all colors.
I’d like to contrast the women in this film with those in Wonder Woman film. I found the physical and dramatic portrayal of strong women much more convincing in this film.. For the Kenyan actress, Lupita N’gongo she knows the struggle of her Kenyan sisters who had to be strong, to face survival issues such as FGM, early marriage,preferential treatment and education of the males. Many made bargains with their families and tribes for their freedom and right to an education, others fled to secure their future. Her power, and anger is fueled by an internal knowledge. It looks vastly different from the horse back riding sisters of Wonder Woman.