Marvel Studios' Black Panther broke box office and world records with its Presidents' Day opening this past weekend. Directed by Ryan Coogler, the film brings its namesake, the first superhero of African descent in mainstream American comics, to life. Black Panther dives into the world of Wakanda, an isolated, technologically advanced African nation untouched by colonization, at a time of transition. King T'Chaka is dead and his son T'Challa is to succeed to the throne and become the Black Panther. What ensues is a rich visual journey of glorious Afrofuturism.
For example, watch director Ryan Coogler thoroughly break down the symbolism and visual effects of the Casino Fight Scene.
Also, learn how costume designer Ruth E. Carter drew inspiration from various African tribes and the symbolic triangle to dress the characters in the film.
In the words of Steven Thrasher, as we “celebrate the unabashed joy of seeing Black life seeing Black life depicted through Black eyes,” we must remember it is also “quite appropriate to have a nuanced opinion of Black Panther’s politics.” At HARI, we understand the value and necessity of the critic because we know the power of digging. The music and samples are shout-outs to the arts, science, history, politics, dreams of a people and nation. Check out Steven Thrasher’s piece for Esquire titled “There Is Much to Celebrate – And Question – About Marvel’s Black Panther” to dig into the multiple dimensions of the film: https://www.esquire.com/entertainment/movies/a18241993/black-panther-review-politics-killmonger/