Judas and the Black Messiah

Judas and the Black Messiah ★★★★½

When King namedrops The Departed in relation to this film, it makes total sense. Judas and the Black Messiah, while providing important details and facts that American education often sidesteps, is a genuinely thrilling film. Knowing Hampton’s fate only adds a sense of dread to the entire film, not knowing only intensifies the thrilling twists and turns of the real story. By using the trappings of the crime genre, with its double-crosses, conversations at low-lit restaurants, and shocking outbursts of violence. Films like The French Connection and Zodiac transform fact into fiction. Films designed to thrill help us examine how our society succeeds or fails at protecting innocents–and who it sees as criminals. Bringing old wounds to the surface is exactly what Judas seems designed to do, and rightly so. The way the story is told keeps it immediate and intimate, and therefore more powerful.

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