Forgive me for this almost pointless post, but I saw Black Panther yesterday (thank you, all-but-useless federal holiday, for giving the kids the day off so I had an afternoon free) and I’ve been needing to shout about all my favorite bits since the moment the credits started rolling.
Only last night when I got home, Matt had a headache, so I had to change my mind about bursting into the house and shouting about it.
And obviously I can’t do this on Twitter – even if I did it as a thread, where I could say in the first tweet “spoilers below,” people who haven’t seen the movie might see the other tweets. Plus with Twitter posting to Facebook, people who haven’t seen the movie would see spoilers there.
So instead I’m going to shout about it in a not-very-bloggy blog post, because the most that will show up in anyone’s feed anywhere is this part where I explain why I need to post this. No one who hasn’t seen the movie needs to read further. With that said:
Like, not important ones for the most part, but still.
You have been warned.
I CALL THEM SNEAKERS OMFG PUN QUEEN“defense positions, pass it on”
MORE AWESOME IMPORTANT-CHARACTER WOMEN WITH LOTS OF SCREEN TIME THAN MEN
SO MANY WOMEN
ALL THE WOMEN
omg Shuri and T’Challa are like the best healthiest cutest brother-sister relationship ever AND SHE DOESN’T EVEN HAVE TO DIE TO INCREASE HIS MAN PAIN SHE LIVES ALL THE WAY TO THE END EVEN THOUGH I WAS SCARED THERE FOR A WHILE BECAUSE KILLING IS WHAT HOLLYWOOD DOES TO AWESOME WOMEN IN MALE-LED MOVIESk it’s probably white male-led movies that do this let’s be real
THIS IS HOW TO WRITE WOMEN HOLLYWOOD
omg Okoye and Nakia fighting with their wigs and their heels in that Korean casino and TOTALLY KICKING ASS
YES WHILE WEARING DRESSES
omg the parts where T’Challa was 100% talking to the audience even though he was also talking to characters
yelling at his father on the spirit plane like “this is a monster of your own making, you can’t refuse to help the world especially when you done messed up” YEAH AMERICA
“we are all one human tribe, wise men build bridges, fools build barriers” YEAH AMERICA YEAH TRUMP“just kidding, we’re vegetarians” omg #dying
OMG GENERAL OKOYE STOPPED A WHOLE BATTLE BY HER DAMN SELF
“you wouldn’t kill me”
“for Wakanda, without question”
OMG SHE JUST STOOD THERE WITH A SPEAR UNTIL HER MAN THREW DOWN HIS WEAPON AND KNELT DOWN BEFORE HER AND ALL HIS WARRIORS FOLLOWED SUIT
I CRIED A LITTLE BIT
A WOMAN STOPPED A BATTLE BY HERSELF AND NOT BY MAKING EVERYONE TALK THINGS OUT
SHE USED HER WARRIOR STATUS AND HER WEAPONRY AND HER MAD FIGHTING SKILLS
SHE STOPPED A WHOLE BATTLE
SHE STOOD THERE WITH A MAN ON HIS KNEES IN FRONT OF HER IN SURRENDER
I CRIED YOU GUYS I REALLY DID IT WAS SO FUCKING FANTASTIC
BEST MOMENT OF THE WHOLE MOVIE
LIKE THERE WERE A LOT OF GOOD MOMENTS BUT THAT WAS THE BEST
and Nakia was the romantic lead but she got to be a PERSON with her own morals and values and desires AND she didn’t have to sacrifice those morals and desires to have a happy ending romantically-speaking which was refreshing as all fuck NO COMPROMISE HELL YEAH T’Challa’s like “why don’t you stay but also I can make sure that if you stay you’ll still able to do this work that’s important to you, I’ll make it our country’s mission to make the world a better place like you want to” BEST BOYFRIEND EVER OKAY
WOMEN SUPPORTING WOMEN
WOMEN WITH DIFFERENT PERSONALITIES AND INTERESTS WHO STILL HAVE EACH OTHER’S BACKS
WHO LITERALLY NEVER EVEN ONCE FIGHT OVER A MAN
WHO HAVE LOYALTIES AND FEELINGS BEYOND MEN
A++FEMINISM FOR THE WIN OKAY
Like you know I’ve cried before when dudebros are like “it’s just unfair to have a book where the whole cast is women, I’m fine with equality but this is unfair” as if there aren’t literally hundreds of books where the whole cast is men or mostly men or the men are the only developed characters and the women are treated like shit.
This was happy crying because the movie was like, “How ’bout you take your whining and shove it up your ass.” The moment when a woman, a warrior, tough as nails and uncompromising, stopped a whole fucking battle by challenging a man she loved to combat in the name of her country was basically the best strong-woman moment EVER. I literally started crying because I was so happy. It was an iconic shot: Okoye standing with her spear raised, ready to strike, while W’kabi’s weapon lies on the ground between them and he kneels at her feet, and behind them all of his warriors throw down their weapons and kneel as well.
It was fucking fantastic.
Just to see a woman for whom love of a man is not the final word, but rather love of her country and her people, to see a woman whose physical prowess and toughness is never “great for a woman, but some guy totally beats her in battle,” to see a man being the one to surrender because of love and emotion (or else because he knows she can kick his butt, probably both tbh) – it was everything I never knew I wanted.
The only thing I wish I knew after the movie was whether and how T’Challa and W’kabi patch things up afterward. Like, they were bros before, but…you know…kind of awkward now that W’kabi has attempted to help overthrow T’Challa because Klaue escaped him. But also I feel like T’Challa won’t hold that against him too much? Especially since he yielded in battle rather than continuing the fight? But also from a logical perspective, as king, you can’t really have people running around who have tried to put another king in your place, so…………
(I don’t wonder as much about Okoye and W’kabi because their reckoning was right there on the battlefield. Also we don’t really see as much of them as a couple as we do of T’Challa and W’kabi as friends – just enough for that battle scene to be FREAKING AWESOME. I imagine without difficulty that Okoye’s basically like “I still love you, but you EVER pull that shit again and I will END YOU” and W’kabi’s like, “Nah, baby, don’t even worry about it”
partly because he knows she can take him in a fight. She probably brings it up whenever they have a fight – a regular relationship one, not a physical battle – like “Oh yeah? Well YOU tried to overthrow the king!” and he’s like, “THAT WAS ONE TIME.”)
All this to say nothing of the overt commentary on racism, colonialism, and nationalism – Killmonger’s whole reason for being angry with the Wakandan royals was that African diaspora all over the world live in poverty, have drugs introduced into their communities, are undereducated, overpoliced, and overincarcerated…and Wakanda does nothing.
“Aren’t those your people, too?”
His very first scene is in a British museum, where, when the white docent informs him that the artifacts are not for sale, he points out to her that the items didn’t come into the museum by sale either: they were stolen by colonizers in Africa, the same way the African people themselves were stolen for labor.
IT WAS JUST. UGH. THE WHOLE MOVIE. SO AMAZING.
In case you run across someone who still doubts how well POC-led movies can really perform, here are some handy facts for you to spew at them. Black Panther broke the box office records for
- biggest February opening weekend
- biggest non-sequel opening weekend
- biggest solo superhero launch of all-time
- biggest Fri-Sun weekend for a long holiday debut
- biggest long holiday opening weekend
- biggest opening weekend for a movie directed by a person of color
- biggest pre-summer opening weekend
- biggest Monday gross
You can read more about what records the film broke and almost broke and what movies it surpassed in this Forbes article.
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