Black Panther - The Title
The Black Panther title offered much controversy with the bloggers I subscribe to. Mainly because of a lack of trust in big production companies and how they represent marginalised groups in general, not to mention Black people. Actually let’s briefly mention Black people. Disney and Marvel have failed for years to ever have strong Black representation. I do not mereley speak of Black characters, but of actual representation. The trust is lost!
So many are asking - why now?
Another strong concern was - why does the title share its name with the civil rights activists -
The Black Panthers.
Despite this criticism, I thought the titles double meaning was marvel...lous. :)
I watched this film four times!!!!
If that isn't actively telling you my thoughts I don't know what will.
The first time was definitely an event! With Peckham Plex filled with Actors and Blacktresses* in full African attire, we all succeeded in recreating our very own Wakanda.
See Ruth Carter the costume designer of Black Panthers Afrocentric Designs to see how we were inspired.
*Blacktress – Blacktress is a space that I created with Cherrelle Skeete where Black women Actors can get together socially and/ or to workshop/ discuss their experiences being a Black Woman Actor in the UK. I no longer am a part of Blacktress the organisation... but will always be a Blacktress, so by default a part of the organisation.
Enjoy this Hannah Beachler (the Set Designer of Black Panther) Virtual Tour in this article by Glow Up.
My second time was a lot more intimate. :). In a smaller cinema and just with one other person, I had the opportunity to really focus on fine detail. It was then that I fell in love with Chadwick Boseman's acting skills and the character of T'Challah. His ability to be a superhero, an African King and an empathetic human capable of loving even his arch enemy, captured me.
I loved the story but I found the accent a bit shaky at times, which was distracting. [Black Panther Dialect] I also am still recovering from the death of Killmonger. As someone from the diaspora, he represented our story. The anger and abandonment issue is definitely something I have felt at times towards the continent, and I think his ultimate death said nothing for the future of us as the diaspora other than we will ultimately die because of our lack of identity, need to assimilate and loss of African richness.
The third time was in 4d, my first ever 4d experience. My senses were enticed - with the smell of the sweet, heart-shaped herb and a freezing cold cimate change whilst travelling to the M’Baku headquarters. The fight scenes were intensified as my chair moved back and forth, side to side and an occasional punch to my back. I'm thankful this was the third time watching the movie, as all of this was an experience of its own. Yes - it added to the layered experience of Black Panther but would have slightly distracted me from the main layer if it were my first time watching.
The fourth and final time I watched Black Panther was at home with my parents. Watching from my usual Observer Perspective ( see my About Me section on the Home Page) this time it was a great feeling being detached from the film whilst watching my family see great representation.
Check out this humbling and inspiring interview with our very own Black Panther
Can we give a special *Shout-Out to our Black British homegrown talent - Letitia Wright, Daniel Kaluuya and Danny Sapani
Where to watch - You can buy Black Panther on DVD
*Shout out also to a good friend of mine Twinkie Byrd who is also an amazing Casting Director and Director. Twinkie worked with Ryan Coogler, Hannah Beachler and Michael B Jordan on Fruitvale Station.
COMMENT BELOW IF YOU WATCHED A FILM THAT HAD A HUGE IMPACT ON YOU AND -