Black Panther Movie Review


Jasmine Filawo, Staff Writer


Africa currently stands as the second largest continent in the world with its location west of the Atlantic Ocean and east of the Indian Ocean. Within this continent lies 54 countries placed in either North, South, East, West and Central Africa. These countries are filled with Africans willing to embrace a culture that remains strong and prevalent, while being passed down to generations. Unfortunately certain individuals have grown into a society where their mindsets negatively view Africa as a poor, undeveloped continent. These individuals have also perceived Africa as a country instead of the continent it actually is. With the idea of Africa being a country, they assume there is no difference in culture and traditions within these countries. For a long time Africa has experienced outsiders, wrongfully dictating their resources and bringing lasting political corruption. Luckily this year’s Marvel Studios’s film, Black Panther, highlighted Africa’s current beauty and futuristic potentials as the world’s dominant, powerful nation.   


The 1988 film, Coming to Africa, starring Eddie Murphy, recognized those awful stereotypes and decided to center this film around a young prince named Akeem, from the fictional African nation Zamunda. In this film, he searches for the perfect wife in America. Luckily filmmakers recognized the misperception of Africa and wanted to reveal its beauty as a continent through a film. Fast forwarding to today, Black Panther became a remarkable movie with a modern twist, making $1 billion worldwide and standing at the seventh highest grossing film in the United States. This film included similar attributes to Coming to America as it’s plot included a royal atmosphere in the fictional African nation, Wakanda.


Black Panther starred Chadwick Boseman, Michael B. Jordan, Lupita Nyong’o, Danai Gurira, Forest Whitaker, Daniel Kaluuya, Angela Bassett,  Letitia Wright, Andy Serkis, Winston Duke, and Martin Freeman. The following cast also included some members from African countries, the Carribean, and Guyana. All these actors were blessed to be part of a film that centered around the protagonist, T’ Challa,  played by Chadwick Boseman, who earns the heir to the throne in Wakanda, after the tragic death of his father. As he manages to protect his country, Wakanda continues to hold one of the most valuable resource that is only held by the Wakandans. That resource is vibranium, which many are very eager to have as it is used for developing advanced technology.


This film, created by American comic-book writer, Stan Lee, continues to have a large audience, even ones that come in African entire. I myself, even witnessed a female wearing beautiful African clothing. Growing up I have always been proud to be born to parents that are from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). I was fortunate to have parents that educated me about my unique culture and exposing it to me by traveling to the actual country. Even though the DRC stands as a developing country, I was touched by this film’s successful job in representing Africa as a developed nation with technological advances that other countries did not have. I also saw Wakanda in the same current position the DRC is in because it holds one of the rarest natural resources that is only found there, coltan. It is also the richest country in terms of natural resources. Unfortunately, outsiders are illegally exporting DRC’s minerals, causing the political instability of this country. Even though this country is greatly suffering, this film gave me hope for not only the DRC, but all of Africa in being a thriving nation.  


Even the LFA community even to take the opportunity to watch this film that was highly spoken about. Students such as sophomore, Isis Burgos, junior, Layne Eklund, senior Michelle Tabansi, and senior Shaena Wright shared their opinions on what aspects from the movie, captivated them.  Burgos is currently taking AP World History and as part of extra credit, students in that class were asked to watch Black Panther. This class also covers the topic of Africa being colonized by Europeans. Burgos has watched Marvel movies like Winter Soldier, but finds Black Panther her favorite because of the historical facts and the cast members doing a phenomenal job performing their roles. She even had a personal connection with T’Challa’s sister, Shuri, who was played by Letitia Wright. Burgos adored how Shuri used her intelligence to develop medical procedures with the use of vibranium.  Eklund was also a fan of the movie even said it herself that should would love to go on vacation to  and Tabanasi, who was born and raised in Nigeria, had a strong connection to the movie as she was finally able to see a different kind of beauty of Africa being finally screened. LFA’s Dean of Pluralism & Multicultural Affairs and Seminar Faculty member, Lusanda Mayikana, who is a South African native, speaks a total of eight of her country’s dialect. Xahou was one of the dialects spoken during the film and she was very pleased to see the cast put in effort and time in learning another language.

“I thought it was cool how for the first time in a very long time black people were portrayed in a positive light rather than stereotypes, like drug dealers, criminals, and living in poverty,” remarked Wright.