The first black Superhero film speaks to us about the ramifications of not being a united people, but it gives us hope.
The Wakanda tribe masks itself as a third-world country in order to hide it’s great secret - Vibranium, the strongest metal in the world. So strong, that our Black Panther (T’Challa) has a custom-made bulletproof bodysuit made out it.
Some might have been disappointed to hear that this is not an anti-white film that talks solely to the black community.
Don’t get me wrong, the dialogue in this film is very honest. When Black Panther brings the white ‘coloniser’ into his land he is met with contempt. However, they develop a special relationship and work together to ensure Wakanda’s precious resource doesn’t fall into the wrong hands. This superhero movie speaks to an underlying political and social unity by placing serious issues under the microscope.
The Wakanda people have advanced technology systems, a magic flower that provides strength/healing and female warriors that foreign governments would pay millions for. The newly crowned King will realize after fighting the demons of a young child abandoned by the Wakanda people that they can no longer live in isolation to the world.
It is here we see another important moral and political idea in Africa, played out on the screen in 3D. The idea that the current generation has the obligation to correct the mistakes of those before them, the idea that it is only by looking at horrible truths that we can have an honest reform.
Towards the end of the film, T’Challa travels to the United Nations conference in Vienna, stands on the podium and delivers a speech in which he declares that ‘fools build barriers, the wise build bridges’. Finally, it became time for the advanced Wakanda nation to abandon its isolationism and begin to embrace the rest of the world.
This marvel film brings with it a new kind of hope, one where we can celebrate our uniqueness and relay messages of black love, black pride and still maintain unity with all others. It prompts questions about Africa’s material relationship with first world countries and a call for leaders to bury their self -interests and do what is beneficial for the people.
We are ready for Wakanda...are you?