Judas and the Black Messiah

Judas and the Black Messiah ★★★★

“There’s a man called ‘the capitalist.’ Doesn’t matter what color he is: black, white, brown, red—don’t matter. Because the capitalist has one goal, and that is to exploit the people.” 

Ranked 2021 Film List

Judas and the Black Messiah is a topical biopic following the rise and fall of social activist and Black Panther Fred Hampton as told from the perspective of FBI informant William O’Neal.

This movie actually cured a few previously held  assumptions I’ve had about the Black Panthers which was cool. I don’t remember learning in school that they were so directly involved in helping the needy or feeding children or building medical centers. Pretty rad shit that sadly today we’re still fighting to get done. 

Daniel Kaluuya as Fred Hampton was absolutely hypnotizing on screen... just had to get that out of the way. LaKeith Stanfield plays William O’Neal, an FBI informant that infiltrates the Black Panther organization to feed the feds info about Fred Hampton whose political activism has garnered the attention of the US government. 

While I pretty much hated William “wild bill” O’Neal as a person, his character felt super complex and distressed. It felt like he was in a constant internal battle with himself. He enjoyed imitating the FBI, who I suppose in a larger sense represents the force in society that controls everything. It seems he felt the insatiable need to become apart of the oppressors and not the oppressed. Stanfield’s performance and the incredible score only added to this tension throughout. Deep bass lines and jazz galore. 

I could talk on and on about how the US government is an oppressive farce of money-chasing hypocrites or how unregulated capitalism has done nothing but create the greatest wealth inequality our country has ever seen but I’ll save that for another time, instead let’s just focus on how Jesse Plemons do look like a narc tho.

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