Did anyone else go to the Kino for Black Panther? I know, stupid question, oder?
Well I did and it was a massive hit! Everything was perfect. Extremely perfect!
Gorgeousness and I went Friday night where we saw it in English with German subtitles and then I went with a few friends on Sunday as well and saw it in the original version. Next weekend, Gorgeousness and I plan to see it in German.
I remember when we heard about the Black Panther feature film, we were mega excited. Do you have any idea how amazing it is to be with someone who shares the same interest? We both grew up reading comic books so naturally, comic book movies is our thing too! After we saw the Captain American Civil War, it was of course obvious that Chadwick Boseman was going to be appearing again in his own film and I was never the same since then. It felt like the release day was taking so long to arrive and it was driving me bonkers.
But enough about my excitement. Let us dive into the different views people got from the movie.
The internet was ablaze with various memes and perspectives on what the Black Panther meant to them. The black community was rejoicing at the very idea of a full black cast in a major movie. This wasn’t just a Black Movie that was only watched by black people or had dialogues only black people understood. This was a marvel comic movie about an African super hero with an African accent and extreme exposure to culture, fictional or not.
Walking into the cinema, my face painted like Shuri and wearing an African print dress and headscarf, I felt represented. I felt like finally I could be that warrior with a silver spear, barefoot and kick ass gorgeous!
The idea that there could be an African country, untouched by colonization, free from the clutches of European influence, was exciting to think of. They were not just untainted, they were very well developed, owned technology that was greater than any the world had ever seen and kept a culture within that development that was not supposed to fit in.
I have to admit that the comic books did not give me this much hype. Probably because I was a young reader and did not fully understand the impact such a story could have on an African kid.
I remember gushing about the movie to a classmate and she racked her brain trying to recall the name of the comic book hero who was also black and I reminded her that Blade may be a black superhero, but the entire cast was caucasian so hey…
But you have to understand that fine print is dying out, and the age of technology is growing so fast. Some of these comic books are not even available in the markets anymore, so the big screen is where it’s at.
I watched the first Harry Potter movie before I got sucked into the wizadery world and buying all the books, reading them and still freaking out about the movies when they got released.
So, knowing that Black Panther was getting its own screen time, complete with an all black cast, dude, I was dancing to that tune and made sure everyone knew it.
One friend I went to see the movie with, had a strong view about the movie. She called it propaganda and her point was that it was an idea the white people were filling our brains with. Her words, not mine! According to her, Europe was looking for another way of stealing our resources seeing as they couldn’t take it easily anymore.
“Let us make a movie where they feel like sharing their wealth was their own idea.” This she said after the UN conference scene where the king talked about sharing the wealth and knowledge of Wakanda with the world.
She reminded us of the Simpsons animation, where the idea of Donald Trump as president was first introduced and today he is president. In 60 years, she said. we will be telling her she was right!
Some folks online think that our support of the movie is placed on the wrong side, while others think that the money generated from the movie should be used to help the black community.
But listen, everyone is entitled to their own opinion because we all see things differently and that’s ok.
For me, the one negative thing I got from the whole representation was that it seemed like the black community can only be saved by a super hero.
The inclusion of boko haram, the discussion about arming the black community with weapons that can help them defend themselves against domestic enemies, the buying of property in a black neighbourhood and oh, the new series on tv about a man who is a principal by day and a superhero by night.
But the truth is that all of that takes a backseat to the great meaning of representation. The excitement on the faces of kids who have long since celebrated superheroes who looked nothing like them finally get to see themselves being represented on the big screen on such a massive world wide scale. Adult women such as myself were not lusting after characters that looked nothing like us. Adult men who could be my brothers and cousins could display rich African culture to the world and look sexy as hell while doing it flawlessly. It’s the best black history month moment ever and I am here for it!
And how about the idea of an inclusive world where women did incredible things and the men around them were not intimidated. An all female army trained to protect the throne of Wakanda and it was mind blowing. This was not an Amazonian army where the women were mostly caucasian(I know right?). They looked like me. They could be me and it was a dream come true.
As much as I respect Beyonce, Rihanna, or Alicia Keys who look nothing like me, women like Lupita, Angela, Danai, Leticia, are beacons of hope. They are women I can see and feel represented by their appearances because they look like me on a regular day and are not afraid or ashamed to walk the streets of Hollywood as they are and that in itself is very powerful and beautiful.
The young director Ryan Coogler who was given a budget of $200 million and killed it, the costume and production designers Ruth Carter and Hannah Beachler who took their time to conduct proper research that helped bring the vibrant culture to life, the stuntmen who are unseen heroes! It’s beautiful. There is so much to talk about with this movie and I haven’t even scratched the surface!
Black Panther is expected to reach a ground breaking $500 million dollars in days and I’m excited to have been part of that. I have seen it twice already and plan to see it again. Hell, I’m going to see it every week until it gets unlisted!
Go see it if you haven’t and thank me later!