Judas and the Black Messiah

Judas and the Black Messiah ★★★★

The people have always had all the power all along.

But we, the people, seem to require direct stimulating and charismatic leadership to activate the power. J Edgar Hoover was expert in snuffing out any popular uprising by severing that fuse from the bomb.

The old school evil genius of killing off his oppositional leaders is that by leaving his fingerprints on the murders he not only stopped the immediate threat, he was making it clear to the next Evers/King/X/Hampton this he is not afraid of their martyrdom. In fact, he will facilitate it.

The techniques used with Hampton were not unique. Infiltration, incitement and entrapment were his weapons of choice in all 1960’s counter culture movements. If those methods didn’t do the trick he obviously had local, campus and even ROTC cops who were chomping at the bit to finish the job.

Trying to encapsulate the essence of Hampton in a big budget movie was going to be a steep hill to conquer. The title implied a narrower examination between Hoover’s infiltrator and Hampton which made sense.

But the film itself takes a step even further away from Hampton by centering the story on the infiltrator and instead having Hampton in an adjacent, parallel axis.

The performances cement this film as a worthy part (but not the whole) of this story. Another needed part is the doc

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