Will’s review published on Letterboxd:
Timely and deftly crafted, Judas and the Black Messiah flits smoothly between two perspectives
Lemme start by saying what a perfect title. Fred Hampton is clearly held in high regard by the directors as he should be. What could have been a mess trying to work within the confines of a neoliberal landscape instead this first time director really does this vital story a great deal of justice. O’ Neale’s storyline is slightly undercooked, he’s a fascinating figure and I think we could have delved more into him. The viewer has to do a lot of between the lines work for his character. His story really highlighted how the police system, even though oppressive towards Black people took advantage of vulnerable people in the population to use as pawns. Also wish this delved more into Hamptons ideological political ideas as I feel it’s such a fundamental part of him as a person. Gut wrenching as it barrels towards an ending we know is inevitable, what a revolutionary figure! An insightful look at the struggle for rights, oppressive systems and the power of the people. Anchored by superb performances as well.