Judas and the Black Messiah

Judas and the Black Messiah

review now up at vulture:

"The civil-rights leaders of yore were titans: charismatic and forceful, intelligent and righteously determined. In the years since Hampton’s death, pop culture has mined the Black Panthers for their posture and aesthetic. Consider Beyoncé’s appropriation, for her 2016 Formation world tour, of the famous image of Huey P. Newton sitting in a rattan throne, one hand holding a shotgun, the other a spear, as he stares defiantly at the camera. She also adopted the aesthetics of berets and all-black for her Super Bowl performance that year.

Judas feels like an extension of the same idea: deploying the Panthers as symbols rather than people. The only things I felt as the credits rolled were a profound sense of disappointment and a frustrated queasiness at what happens when the industry seeks to adopt an anti-capitalist, anti-imperialist, undeniably radical figure such as Hampton. Hollywood is more of a capitalist enterprise than it is a haven for artists. What it can’t co-opt, it discards."