Insightful Revolutionary Aspects You Might Have Missed in the Black Panther

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Probably everyone has watched the movie, Black Panther by now. If not, you are missing a lot. In case you got a chance to be among the movie’s global viewers, here are some insightful aspects that you might have overlooked.

Black Panther is more than a movie; it is revolutionary. It cinematically depicts everything happening around us, right from the actors, to the setting and scripting. This 2018 movie has a lot to it. Chadwick Boseman likened the anticipation of the movie’s premiere to waiting for Christmas.

Black Panther
Black Panther is a revolutionary

 

The movie kicks off with narration to give you a glimpse of what to expect. The narrator speaks of a warrior king, the Black Panther, who unites four Wakandan tribes: Border Tribe, River Tribe, Merchant Tribe, and Mining Tribe. However, the Jabari tribe refuse to be under his leadership.

Wakanda is a technological marvel. Though disguised as a third world country, it is far developed than the first world countries. It depicts an African state, which has grown by tapping into her natural resources. Okoye, at some point, termed the use of guns as primitive. Wakanda has a precious metal, vibrainium, which they strive to keep from the rest of the world.

The actors

What better way to tell an African story than with actors of African descent. T’Challa’s (Chadwick Boseman) DNA testing of ‘African Ancestry’ outlines his ancestors were Krio people &Limba people from Sierra Leone, and Yoruba people from Nigeria.

Okoye (Danai Gurira) is a Zimbabwean and American. Nakia (Lupita Nyong’o) is a Kenyan and American. W’Kabi (Daniel Kaluuya) was born in London to Ugandan parents.

The above actors, among others, bring in the African flavor to the movie. The crew also majorly comprised of African Americans.

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Isolationism

Wakanda chooses to isolate itself from the rest of the world. It does not participate in foreign trade nor accept foreign aid. Wakanda believes that keeping the vibranium a secret does more good than harm to the world.

Wakanda does not engage in war unless necessary. Ideally, they want to be off the radar. However, to be on the safe side, they have placed ‘war dogs’ in every country to help them remain at par with the rest of the world. Also, they have spies for the same reason.

But with the reign of T’Challa, isolationism slowly starts to topple over.

Vital Role of Women in the Society

You can overlook everything in this movie, but women’s vital role is painted in almost every scene. In Africa, they feel there is no king without a queen. Indeed, Black Panther goes out of its way to portray this. T’Chala is surrounded by extraordinary women who greatly impact his leadership.

Okoye

To begin with, all the royal guards are female. They are under the command of Okoye, who is fierce when holding her spear. Okoye displays the valor trait of African women. Despite being a lady to reckon with, she has her light moments in the movie.

Nakia

She is a spy who is good at what she does. Moreover, she is T’Challa’s girlfriend(ex-girlfriend). T’Challa brings her back to Wakanda so that she can witness his coronation. Nakia also offers advice to T’Chala. She helps him think straight when he is overwhelmed. She advises T’Chala to open up Wakanda to the rest of the world. In their mission to South Korea, Nakia uses various languages to help them go after Klaw. Together with the Queen’s mother, Nakia goes to M’Baku in an attempt to save the throne.

Shuri

Then there is the tech guru, Shuri (Letitia Wright), T’Challa’s sister. Although young, she has harnessed the power of the vibranium to the point that it can heal a bullet wound overnight. She is humorous and non-racist. She treats Everett K. Ross’ bullet and lets him pilot one of Wakanda’s warships. She also designs the super-cool Black Panther suit for his brother. Shuri is a reflection of what ladies can accomplish at a young age.

Black Panther
Black Panther is a revolutionary

Africa’s Colonization

Maybe you did not notice, but the movie highlighted African colonization. When Kilmonger (Michael B. Jordan) steals from a museum, he says that the colonizers took African possessions without permission and put them in the museums.

Just as he was about to die, Kilmonger tells T’Chala, “Drop me in the ocean to be with my ancestors who knew death was better than bondage.” In this context, his ancestors were the African slaves who drowned themselves while being transported to the western countries.

Legitimate Authority

Despite the king automatically coming from the Golden Tribe, he had to take part in a ‘ritual combat’ to prove his throne’s worthiness. The combat was a fight to the death. The Jabari tribe challenged Prince T’Challa in combat in an attempt to lead Wakanda.

Kilmonger also challenged King T’Challa in the same combat and nearly killed the king.

No one was to interfere while the combat was in progress. There was no use of any technologically advanced weapon. All one needed was his hands, skills, and a few traditional weapons.

The combat depicts that the king does not just ascend the throne; he has to prove his worthiness, unlike in recent times where people merely come into authoritative positions using unjust means.

Leadership

T’Chala ascends the throne, trying to fit in in his father’s, T’Chaka, shoes. He is at cross-roads whether to lead like his ancestors or just be himself.

T’Chala’s father tells him that it is hard for a good man to be king. This portrays the rot that is in our current leadership positions.

The movie brings out two responsibilities of a leader, to rule and to protect his people. Wakanda leaders try to put their people’s interests first. M’Baku, leader of the Jabari Tribe, yields in ritual combat for his people’s sake.

Black Panther
Black Panther is a revolutionary

The leaders of the tribes are accorded utmost respect. They all take part in advising the king.

On the other hand, the king does not act out of his own volition. He first consults with the tribe leaders before taking action on Wakanda’s matters.

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Compromise

Among the famous quotes of Donna Martini includes, “Compromise is not about losing. It is about deciding that the other person has just as much right to be happy with the end result as you do.”

The movie is filled with a lot of compromise in an attempt by the characters to do what is right.

T’Chaka kills his brother, Nzobu, to save Zuri’s life.

Zuri gets himself killed by Kilmonger in an attempt to save the T’Challa’s life.

Queen Mother kneels before M’Baku to get help in saving the throne.

T’Chala spares the life of M’Baku during the ritual combat. In turn, M’Baku also saves T’Chala’s life and preserves him in snow.

M’Baku also overlooks the decades of feud his tribe has had with the royal family and goes ahead to help them.

T’Chala brings detective Ross to Wakanda after being shot, despite knowing Wakanda’s people will not be pleased.

Detective Ross risks his life to stop vibranium weapons from being shipped out of Wakanda.

Okoye compromises her loyalty to the throne by fighting against the leadership of Kilmonger.

W’Kabi overlooks his friendship with T’Chala to show loyalty to Kilmoger, who shares the same ideas as him.

Hate

T’Chala acknowledges that his cousin, Kilmonger, was a monster created by his father. Kilmonger was left without a dad after T’Chaka killed his father, Nzobu. Ever since the death of his father, Kilmonger brewed hate inside. Everything he did was driven by hatred and anger. He had no friends, as he used people close to him as a stepping stone to reach Wakanda. Hate and desire for revenge pushed Kilmonger to his death.

Kilmonger’s hate and desire for revenge are what most of us have. Contempt for injustices and society at large. Eventually, we become the thing that we hate most. In an attempt to stop injustice, we take part in unjust acts.

Kilmonger was blinded by hate and an impulse for revenge. He only realized how beautiful Wakanda was when he was almost dying.

Hate and desire to make things right made T’Challa go against his principles to the point of almost killing Klaw to revenge for his father’s murder.

Loyalty

Loyalty is the essence of human life. The Black Panther characters display loyalty in their different roles. Okoye shows her loyalty to the throne by staying back in Wakanda when Kilmonger is crowned king.

Nakia shows loyalty to Wakanda by stealing the ‘traditional herb’ and taking it to M’Baku to help save Wakanda from Kilmonger. The herb later helps revive T’Challa.

All the tribes show loyalty to the ritual combat by accepting the outcome. They also do not interfere during the traditional fight.

Take Away From T’Challa/Black Panther/Chadwick Boseman

The late Chadwick Boseman was a marvel at his role as King T’Chala and as the Black Panther. Let’s take a look at some of the outstanding moments in the movie.

T’Chala is a revolutionary leader. He says he does not want to be like his predecessors who gave a blind eye to the rest of the world.

Also, he is an empathetic leader. He understands the pain that Kilmonger has. He acknowledges that it is inhumane that his father left his cousin back after killing his uncle.

T’Chala further mirrors the past regrets we have in our lives. The guilt that we could have done more. He constantly imagines that he could have done more. But, when he realizes he cannot unwind the past events, he focuses on the present.

Black Panther
Marvel Studios’ BLACK PANTHER..L to R: Erik Killmonger (Michael B. Jordan) and T’Challa/Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman)..Ph: Film Frame..©Marvel Studios 2018

If compassion were a person, T’Chala would be the right guy. With little strength left during the ritual combat, T’Chala let out a cry when Kilmonger stabs Zuri. In another instance, T’Challa goes against the norm to save the life of Agent Ross. He also starts a Wakanda outreach program.

Need I mention the light moments he brings the movie? Come on; the guy puts on traditional sandals during his first day as king. Now that’s going back to your roots, embracing the traditions in the present.

Unity

T’Chala decides to open up Wakanda to the rest of the world through an exchange program. He sets up an outreach program in the same neighborhood his father killed his uncle Nzobu.

The Black Panther sees the decision of opening up Wakanda as a wise move. He says that the wise build bridges while the fool builds a wall.

T’Chala concludes by saying that the world should look after each other, ‘We Are One Tribe.’ Unity is an essential ingredient in life. Most importantly, unity for a just cause.

Life is never that serious; the Black Panther characters know this. They constantly crack jokes and put on heartwarming smiles in various scenes in the movie. If the fierce Okoye and the mighty M’Baku did manage to smile in the movie, who are you not to smile?

Wakanda Forever!

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