***No Spoilers Alert***
When the buzz about Black Panther began I wasn’t sure what to expect. Previous portrayals of the African continent in the past have always had one common denominator “Slavery”. Being a Marvel production, I had questions like. Would it depict the essence of Africa? How easy would it be to pick up the storyline? Could I trust the makers behind Marvel to deliver a well throughout cast?
Tuesday night my questions were answered. I was delighted to attend a special screening of Black Pantherat Genesis Cinema on Mile End Road, East London followed by Q&A with cast member Letitia Wright aka (Shuri).
SO EXCITED to finally announce, I’ve curated a special screening of #BlackPanther followed by a Q&A with the wonderful @letitiawright in collaboration with @GenesisCinema@ChangeFdn@TanyaCompas & @weare_spotlight
— Nicole Krystal Crentsil (@NKrystal)
On arrival, the cinema was full to capacity as the event had sold out. I was proud of the organisers who did an amazing job. They had specially invited a group of 15 young school girls to attend the screening. This act of kindness alone warmed my heart, there was a real sense of community spirit in the air.
The lights dimmed, everyone went quiet and the movie began…
The movie itself was phenomenal. I felt a sense of pride as I looked around the room. I understood the importance of this movie and why it was so culturally significant at this present time, with many positive cultural references on display.
With exceptional direction from Ryan Coogler and performances from Chadwick Boseman, Michael B. Jordan, Lupita Nyong’o, Danai Gurira, Winston Duke, 🇬🇧 Daniel Kaluuya,🇬🇧Letitia Wright, Angela Bassett and Forest Whitaker.
It exceeded all of my expectations, not because I don’t believe in the talent that is out here. I just wasn’t sure if they could get it right with all the red tape that surrounds a Hollywood Marvel Production.
From the fight scenes, special effects, messages, and accents to the costume design. The imagery displayed throughout the movie and the context for what it will do for everyone and particularly for young people and children of colour excite me and filled me with joy. This is indeed a monumental moment in Black History.
When the film ended (be sure to stay seated until after the rolling credits) there was a huge cheer of applause and standing ovations.
Next, we had the Q&A session with Letitia Wright, she was asked by the organiser what it takes for aspiring actors and creators to succeed? Letitia expressed some of her struggles with depression and overcoming it by reconnecting with God and her faith which lead her to this point. The experience of the watching the movie and hearing from Letitia was spectacular and admirable.
Overall it was refreshing to walk out of the cinema for once without feelings of sadness and anger. Amistad, 12 Years A Slave and so on, these are all great movies with Oscar-winning performances but Black Panther changes and challenges the narrative by exploring what could have been. As a Brit of African descent, I felt the same as I do when I’m fortunate enough to visit Ghana. It pays homage to the soil of Africa’s heart and soul and I am thankful to have been here to experience it.
Albeit a fictional movie, it’s definitely worth a watch!
🙅🏾♀️ #WakandaForever 🙅🏾♀️