Let us talk about Black Panther

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Image by Marvel

Black Panther is the most anticipated movie of the year. It is coming out in the theater on February the 14th.The particularity of this movie is that it is the first superhero movie in which the entire cast is all black. And as we can imagine, the community is really thrilled about that. It is showing a lot of enthusiasm because of the A list melanin casting, but the movie portrait an “ideal” i think that people of African descendants, whether there are in the diaspora or in the continent, can look up too. This is what caught our attention and give us reasons not to miss this one.

First it is the casting . Black Panther a movie directed by Ryan Coogler has a A list cast that includes Chadwick Boseman who plays T’Challa or black Panther, Michael B Jordan, Lupita Nyong’o, Danai Gurira, Martin Freeman, Daniel Kaluuya, Letitia Wright, Winston Fuke, the legendary Angela Bassett and of course Forest Whitaker. This is a group of African diaspora in its diversity. This being said, we can assume that they gave their best performance given their respective backgrounds and the subject matter.

This brings  us to the second reason why I am not missing this one. In fact,  it is my main reason. The movie is about a man (Black Panther)who becomes king and faces challenges and conflict that has global implications. And his adversary ( Killmonger) main issue is that wakanda( the country where the story takes place) has not done enough to help the black communities around the world who had their life shattered by slavery and colonialism according to Todd Vanderwerff on vox.com.

This movie definitely touches an interesting political issue . It discusses about how wakanda can better deal with kingdom succession and also the world out there or simply diplomacy.These deep subjects are usually discussed in the continent and its diaspora. In recent years, there have been a lot issues in the continent related to power succession or simply political alternance. The relationship between the continent and the former colonial power is often discussed as well. In fact, many countries especially those French speaking countries are still feeling the burdens of colonialism legacy. The issue of the cfa which is a currency used by the 15 African countries colonized by France. Most of them are independent since 1960 but their economy is completely dependent of that of France, which controls the CFA Franc. Recently they have been a movement led By the African economist Kemi Seba which suggests that the economic development delay of these countries  is deeply rooted in clauses related to this currency. A campaign has been going on this subject . Hopefully, this movie shine the awareness on how an “ideal society” should have been if there were not any historical circumstances to stop it.

This brings us the another reason why we can’t miss this movie Wakanda. It is the scenery where the story of black Panther took place. When talking to BBC Lupita Nyong’o described Wakanda as a mythical country, a hidden African Kingdom with incredible technological power, due to its reserves of the world most useful metal. The subject of natural resources or reserves is  current subject.  But we will leave it alone today.

Wakanda reminds me of those African Kingdoms before colonisation. I know any African will be able to name any, depending on which part of the continent they are from. Personally, I am reminded of the Kongo kingdom which is well documented and had a really political structure, military structure, social structure and even economical structure . The kingdom had its own currency which was made of shell money. The exploitation of cooper was even done by then.The kingdom was located central Africa specifically in Angola, Cabinda, Republic of Congo, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Gabon. It was discovered by the Portuguese explorer Diego Cao in 1483. From 1390 to 1830, this kingdom was independent. It was apparently destroyed by slavery and colonialism.

Indeed , this makes me better understand the statement by Lupita Nyong’o :“ we are in Africa and we meet an entirely new nation that is highly developed and there are so because they did not get interrupted by or assaulted by colonialism.” Wakanda is really a mythical country . However it  reminds us of what this place would have been without the contact with the rest of the world. It is also important to note that it wouldn’t be good for a given kingdom or country to be isolated from the rest of the world, to disregard the suffering of other society.

Of course, the movie has all that we usually expect from superhero movies: fantasy,fights, special effects and romance. But because it went beyond what we usually see in most superhero movies, we had to give it its merits. Also we can not finish how important it is for the little black kids to have a superhero that is relatable for them. These are the main reasons why we can’t miss this one