Judas and the Black Messiah

Judas and the Black Messiah ★★★★

That 1989 interview with Bill O’Neil is so powerful and effective when used in the context of this film that you wonder how he’s able to keep himself so composed and legitimize his actions after so many years. Maybe that’s why he made for such a good FBI informant.

For all the evil that J. Edgar Hoover has done I’m sad to say that it’s undeniable that he mastered the one way to undermine black people which is to use us against us. But at the same time Bill O’Neil cannot be absolved of all the blame either. When I see the interview at the end of this movie I see a man who’s lied to himself for years until he finally felt comfortable sleeping at night. But as soon as he watched back that interview and a mirror was held up against himself and his shame, he couldn’t bear to live with it a day longer.

The thing about shame is that it can live in you forever.

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