Judas and the Black Messiah

Judas and the Black Messiah ★★★

By design more of a genre movie about a sting operation on a character named Fred Hampton than “The Murder of Fred Hampton, now with Hollywood stars”. That gives the movie a more engrossing surface that allows the movie to deal with some themes related to police violence and the Panthers, but also one that can’t do anything beyond treating Hampton as a symbol. It is a political limited movie, but it reaches some interesting moments when dealing specifically with how Stanfield perceives his role. Indeed, the movie works mostly when it is locked in the mythic status proposed by its title and consider how Black Americans are pushed by white establishment towards very limited roles. Nearly every scene with the FBI are awful. The movie is far stronger when inside the Panthers. Performances are strong all around, but as good as Kaluya is, I wish he was a decade younger.

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