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Black Panther Film Review: A Modern African Renaissance

When people tell you a film is good, no matter how much you may trust their judgement, you can never be quite sure if it wasn’t just good for them. In the case of the Black Panther film, there is surely something for every film fan to enjoy. While it’s packed with everything a superhero film should have, the truth is that the action scenes and wild car chases are merely just a scratch on the surface. The Black Panther film is in fact an ode to a modern-day African renaissance disguised with hot combat scenes, fast car chases and high-tech gadgets. Here’s what all you can expect the movie to bring, without any spoilers attached.

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An Alternative View of African Civilisation

In a slickly put together mixture of African ethnicity meets super-futuristic spy civilisation, the Black Panther film challenges racial stereotypes like never before. Without any mass protest or any kind of disastrous disruption, the film elegantly defies the single story often portrayed and perpetuated of third-world African people by mainstream media. The film is set in Wakanda, a fictional and high-tech African nation with primitive African tribal undertones. The film is also rife with thought-provoking references to current conversations in mainstream media and popular culture about race and power. For instance, Black Panther’s fiercest rival happens to have an American accent with a hip-hop demeanour. This almost directly references the oppressors during the times of the African slave trade, being the Americans.

Empowerment of African Women

Coming from a history of female oppression and still living in a time where women experience at the very least a glass ceiling, this film challenges notions of women’s physical inferiority. The Dora Milaje are the elite, all-female special forces unit who protect the king of Wakanada. Women empowerment is a popular theme within Hollywood at the moment. One need not look any further than the great success of another recent superhero movie – Wonder Woman. Not forgetting, the disruptive social media movement behind the hashtag #MeToo of Time magazine’s Person of the Year – the Silence Breakers of sexual harassment.

Concluding Thoughts on Black Panther

The film is an overall success and has already drawn mass popularity and conversation around it. Expectations are set high, and rightfully so with this feel-good film. While it has an old school overview of an optimistic superhero who just wants to make the world a better place, it seems and feels all brand new. This film is sure to give everyone something to talk about, even if you completely ignore the political and racial themes that lie beneath the surface.