There is so much I’m energised about in the new trailer for Judas and the Black Messiah. After Kaluuya’s explosive hits Queen and Slim, Widows, Get Out and Black Panther, his portrayal of revolutionary Fred Hampton, a charismatic chairman of Chicago’s Black Panther Party in 1968, looks ready to ignite.
With every starring role, Kaluuya only seems to climb higher. The Academy Award-nominee performs with co-star LaKeith Stanfield in the true story of Fred Hampton, a decisive player in the civil rights movement. Hampton inspired a generation to rise up and not back down to oppression, his outspoken stance pitting him against the Chicago Police and FBI.
For much of his public life, Hampton fought against preconceptions about the Black Panther movement. Debut director Shaka King takes the angle that, rather than violent and extreme, the group sought to feed the hungry and protect the city’s most vulnerable citizens. It’s this cognitive dissonance that’s broken down throughout the film, showing the formation of Hampton’s multi-racial Rainbow Coalition.
Judas and the Black Messiah is just one of many timely films, with the backdrop of Black Lives Matter and a civil rights movement unfolding before our eyes. In the vein of Spike Lee’s BlackKklansman and countless other films supercharged with revolutionary ideals, Judas preaches a message of radical empowerment. With a talented supporting cast including Jesse Plemons, Dominique Fishback, Ashton Sanders, and Martin Sheen, it’s guaranteed to cause a lasting impact.
Judas and the Black Messiah is set for a 2021 release via Warner Bros. Nobody can predict for sure the likelihood of a film experiencing a theatrical release or going straight to VOD next year — but no matter the platform, it demands your attention.