Judas and the Black Messiah

Judas and the Black Messiah ★★★½

It is shameful that Shaka King gave as much screen time to a scumbag like O'Neal as he did to a revolutionary like Fred Hampton. The decision to give that much attention to a cop like O'Neal defeats half the purpose of depicting Fred Hampton to a wide audience. Stop humanizing the cops that dehumanize us all.

This movie left me furious, more so than I've been in the compact runtime of a film in years. The culmination of the denial enforced pillars of white supremacy standing tall 50 years later through continued support for remorseless police brutality and the murders of black brothers and sisters, a movie like this is overdue.

Reform does not work. Abolish the police.

The acting is disturbingly good, Kaluuya is amazing and Stanfield is magnetic despite his shit character and Plemons is despicable. Dominique Fishback won't get enough attention but she is astoundingly good. Martin Sheen is a fuck in this movie though which feels extremely out of character for him but he's great even still. The score is especially good, sparingly used and tonally haunting, the lack of score throughout much of the film nails the brutal reality of the film in hard. The cinematography is tight and although the story is expected, it remains gut wrenching nevertheless.

Reform does not work. Abolish the police. Abolish capitalism. They are working as they are intended to.

Kaluuya deserves an Oscar at this point, highlighting the absolute tragedy that is Black Americans not only giving their lives to fighting systematic racism, but their deaths as well.

Block or Report

Craig liked these reviews