Judas and the Black Messiah

Judas and the Black Messiah ★★½

For a film that revealed the crux of its plot in the title (which is not a bad thing), I was hoping they would explore the relationship between the eponymous characters in a performance-driven dual character study. But, the movie timidly tiptoes around them instead. Secondly, this was a great opportunity to shed light into the working, politics, and relevance of the Black Panthers. They didn't go for that either.

Like The Trial of the Chicago 7, this one doesn't give two shits about its subject i.e the Black Panthers and their principles. Instead, it presents a polished version of the real life movement, tailor-made for Hollywood liberal sensibilities. If you are afraid of endorsing "radically left" politics, why even bother picking such subjects?

The FBI characters, who need not be in the film in the first place, talk like Disney villains, and Hampton & co. sporadically drop the words socialism and proletariat in random conversations. It's very simple to me, the fact that FBI conspired to kill Fred Hampton doesn't need a dramatization but it would be great to know WHY the Panthers were so feared by the establishment. I still don't know and Shaka King doesn't care. I will go watch Agnes Varda's short doc, then.

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