So I watched Infinity war before I watched Black Panther so when King T’Challa fell over the water fall to certain death I told everyone else he couldn’t be dead yet. Plus, thanks to VLC, we could see that the movie wasn’t over yet.
I now understand what all the hype was about and can really envisage this as a movie I would want to watch over and over again.
Lemme tell you why.
1. I love the way the movie shows “girl power”. From general Okoye and the Dora Milaje(the King’s soldiers) being female to King T’Challa’s sister Shuri being the tech whiz (go girls in STEM) to Nakia being the brain behind ultimately rescuing T’Challa and the incoming ” king maker” being female and of course King T’Challa’s mother being the one who prepares the vibranium mixture that brings him back to life, the movie is rife with bold women who totally rock.
2. Secondly, I love the way it subtly deals with our choices and how they affect us and even other innocent people. King T’Chaka chose his nation (which was expected of him as king) when he killed his brother N’Jobu to save Zuri’s life. But was he justified in choosing to leave his nephew behind? By doing so, he created a monster who threatened his kingdom many years later. As the inner conscious scene showed, Erik was really hurting and needed closure. Could that have been prevented if he had grown up in Wakanda with a loving extended family?
3. Another thing that stood out for me is the theme of love. It was love that made Nakia decide to go and look for T’Challa when she had seen him fall to certain death. It was love that made Okoye and W’Kabi drop their weapons rather than fight each other and thus caused all others to drop their weapons. It was love that made T’Challa take Erik out to see the Wakanda sunset knowing full well that if the tables were turned, Erik would not have done same for him.
4. I loved the various African touches that were added. I saw Kente from Ghana, the lip thing from some other African tribes and some other allusions. Go Africa!
5. When Nakia, Shuri, Ramonda and Ross run away, I’m not sure they really had hope of finding T’Challa. Their hope was gone. However, by going to enemy territory they felt the stood a better chance than staying in the kingdom with King Erik who obviously didn’t want them. It reminds me of the story of the four lepers in 2 Kings. Either way, they were dead…so it was better to move than stay put. What’s the worst that can happen? Sometimes, just move and you may be surprised at how much of a difference that makes.
6. Wakanda is depicted as the perfect African utopia, untouched by foreign elements and so far ahead of the curve, the curve might as well be non-existent. However, that disconnect lead to the creation of Erik’s villany. The power they hoarded for themselves could have helped so many others as N’Jobu and Erik expressed. But their desire to stay separate and their fear of the outside world ultimately came back to haunt them. T’Challa’s passionate declaration to the ancestors is one of the greatest character moments in superhero cinema and reflects one of my favorite Marvel quotes; “With great power, comes great responsibility.” Its never enough to just be…not when you can change the lives of others around you.
7. Another saying this film illustrates well; “The road to hell is paved with good intentions.” N’Jobu wanted to free African-American communities from oppression and betrayed his country. T’Chaka wanted to protect his country and instead created a villain in his nephew. T’Challa and Erik aspired to follow in their fathers’ footsteps and created a civil war in a peaceful country. It goes to show us all that the end cannot justify the means. Not when the “how” cause so much pain and suffering.
Well, I have to wrap up now before I write a book…lol. I love the almost non existent sex scenes. There’s just one kiss at that and one which wouldn’t make parents cringe while watching with their children. It’s overall a breath of fresh air in showing Africa in a positive light rather than the usual poverty. There are truckloads of lessons and of course enough shooting to satisfy people like my friend Joy… Lol.
My friend Zuviel contributed to this post so he’s listed as a co-author.
(He’s the resident Marvel universe expert :-).)
Angela Azumah Alu and Zuviel Joshua Naazie