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Black Panther — ‘good movie, great coup’

Black Panther — ‘good movie, great coup’

June 09
00:18 2018

Directed by Ryan Coogler, 2018


Of all the heroes of the culture wars this year perhaps the unlikeliest was Marvel Studios. Yet its Black Panther — the first major superhero movie to feature a black director and a majority black cast — became not only one of the most lucrative cinematic events of the year but also one of the most profound.

A good movie and a great coup, Ryan Coogler’s box-office juggernaut, which stars Chadwick Boseman as the king of the African nation of Wakanda, dismantles the traditional blockbuster and repurposes the parts for political ends: thus the origin story becomes a history of black diaspora; the setting an Afrofuturist utopia; and, most crucially, there is a new villain: whiteness.

Coogler’s timely (if a little overlong) film is a lesson in subversion. And it feels like the future.


The Financial Times Limited 2018. All rights reserved.

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