Judas and the Black Messiah

Judas and the Black Messiah ★★★½


Despite some pacing issues, and how it struggles to get a more centered focus, Judas and the Black Messiah is too interesting, relevant, and pulsing for those to be distracting elements.

Certainly several aspects can feel minimized, and to some extent tainted by traces of sensationalism, after all it's a dramatic recreation.

But that's precisely the film's strength, even beyond its real story, because the performances give it life, and they're still as crucial as the theme itself, because if your actors can't bring it to life, the theme simply won't have justice.
And this film breathes incredibly through the performances of its protagonists, especially Daniel Kaluuya, who will undoubtedly have to get an Oscar nomination this year.

Perhaps the most defining thing about Judas and the Black Messiah is how it becomes part of the circle that the African American community cannot abandon as long as they're still considered a danger by their white compatriots, and of course by the people in power. Especially police authorities.
It's quite fucked up to be seen as danger in your own nation because of your skin color.

If you're white, you're manageable, regardless of your crime.
If you're black you must be controlled at any cost, and perhaps executed, regardless of your crime.

Judas and the Black Messiah does not manage to land everything it seems to propose, but it remains a crucial perspective of a story that keeps repeating itself, and from which it seems that nothing is learned.

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