Judas and the Black Messiah

Judas and the Black Messiah ★★★★

Technical stuff out of the way first for the film nerds:

Shaka King is a fantastic writer and director. Judas is an absolutely gorgeous and visceral movie. Every gunshot and bullet wound is almost painful to watch, and lighting is used to perfect effect in every scene. Performances all around are brilliant and Kaluuya and Stanfield knock it out of the park as always. I think a good way to sum up this movie is by saying it walks with a purpose.

Now, I won't drone on and on about politics. But there are some things I wanna say while I have the opportunity.

(Some context: my comrades and I watched this movie together as sort of an internal event for our organization. A chance to socialize and interact outside of community work and planning in meetings. We viewed it in the couple hours between prep and distribution of our bi-weekly food program).

I'm glad this movie was made. There are a ton of issues myself and plenty of others have. But learning about Fred Hampton (even just surface level information) is what radicalized me. Knowing that, and then leaving the apartment to go and feed the community, gives me so much hope. Fred radicalized me. I quoted Fred in the first public speech I ever gave. Fred is baked into the DNA of our organization.

So I know that somebody somewhere out there saw this movie, and decided that that was it. They were going to do something. It doesn't have to be large. It doesn't have to be leading the revolution. It just has to be doing your part. In the words of Fred:

All we want to know, is that you'll be doing what we'd be doing if we were here.

Please, if you want to honor Fred, if you believe in what Fred believed in: do something.

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