Judas and the Black Messiah

Judas and the Black Messiah ★★★★½

I sobbed from the climax to the end credits.

A triumph of a film that manages to strike a perfect balance across the board, managing to be both educational and entertaining, inspiring and infuriating, harrowing and heartbreaking...intense, yet sensitive. A piece of art has not moved me this much in some time & I was left drained & depleted by the viewing experience. After it was over, I simply couldn't move--I sat motionless in my darkened room, staring unblinkingly at the screen, incapable of composing myself for longer than I'd like to admit.... just trying to process & absorb what I'd just witnessed (I did not know this story beforehand), ruminating on how unjust, unfair, unequal, undeserved, how unfathomable it all is. I grieve & mourn for so many, for so much. This is a tragic story that needed to be told, but my God it will make you hurt--not just for the characters at it's core, but for all the oppressed, all the subjugated, all the marginalized. It's a rigged system...corrupt, broken, backwards & yeah, I'll say it: evil.. As someone who believes in progressive ideals, I desperately want to feel hopeful about the future, but it's difficult to imagine things ever changing enough to reach true racial parity. And that's what stings most of all.

It does not need to be reiterated by me, since it appears to be a universally accepted truth, but yes, this is an acting showcase for Lakeith Stanfield, Jesse Plemons and Daniel Kaluuya. They all give incredibly strong performances--all award-worthy in their own right...all at the top of their game. And I feel confident in stating that not only did Daniel give my favorite performance last year, but that he has now taken the top slot as my new favorite actor--Get Out, Widows, Judas and the Black Messiah. A holy trinity.

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