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Judas and the Black Messiah (2021) Review

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I am a Revolutionary”

Judas and the Black Messiah is the true story of Fred Hampton (Daniel Kaluuya), the Chairman of the Illinois chapter of the Black Panther Party, and the ultimate betrayal by William O’Neal (LaKeith Stanfield), an FBI informant who infiltrated the Blank Panther Party, that led to Hampton’s demise.

Darrel Britt-Gibson, Daniel Kaluuya and Lakeith Stanfield appear in Judas and the Black Messiah by Shaka King, an official selection of the Premieres section at the 2021 Sundance Film Festival. Courtesy of Sundance Institute | photo by Glen Wilson. All photos are copyrighted and may be used by press only for the purpose of news or editorial coverage of Sundance Institute programs. Photos must be accompanied by a credit to the photographer and/or ‘Courtesy of Sundance Institute.’ Unauthorized use, alteration, reproduction or sale of logos and/or photos is strictly prohibited.

It’s only February but this is already going to end up as a strong contender for the best film of 2021. The story is hard-hitting, powerful and devastating and the screenplay is top notch, never missing a beat. Director Shaka King is able to make a wholly compelling, ticking time bomb of a film. It’s hard to believe this is his first major cinematic project, incredibly accomplished.

The sheer driving force of the film are the two, absolute powerhouse performances from Kaluuya and Stanfield. Kaluuya is electrifying throughout, his “I am a revolutionary” speech caps off a wonderful, award worthy performance. He gets better in every film he does with each performance feeling like a career best. Stanfield, on the other hand, is more subdued than his co-star, allowing for the audience to find compassion and understanding in a traitor. The supporting cast are also fantastic throughout. Jesse Plemons, the legendary Martin Sheen and, in particular, Dominique Fishback all shine.

This is not the first time we have experienced a historical biopic and it certainly will not be the last time. Where this film is different to the normal biopic, however, is with the choices made throughout the film. Right from the beginning up until the end, this a smart and stylish picture throughout.

When the Academy Award nominations are announced on the 15th of March, it would be fantastic to see this in the running for the biggest prizes come Oscars night. Unfortunately though, I can see it being overshadowed by The Trial of the Chicago 7.

Judas and the Black Messiah is available now, in the US, on HBOMax and will be available in the UK on the 26th February 2021.

FILM RATING

23 years old-Manchester-Film Studies Graduate-Qualified Film and Media Teacher-Meryl Streep, Cate Blanchett and Olivia Colman enthusiast. Check out my Letterboxd for more reviews and film goodness. letterboxd.com/joelhowarth

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The Batman | Official Trailer 2 – DC Fandome

The Batman is an upcoming American superhero film based on the DC Comics character of the same name. The film is being produced by DC Films and distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures, and is a reboot of the Batman film franchise. The film is directed by Matt Reeves, who wrote the screenplay with Mattson Tomlin.



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Genre:

Action, Crime, Drama

Release Date:

March 4, 2022

Director:

Matt Reeves

Cast:

Robert Pattinson, Zoë Kravitz, Colin Farrell, Paul Dano, Andy Serkis, Peter Sarsgaard, John Turturro, Jeffrey Wright

Plot Summary:

The Batman is an upcoming American superhero film based on the DC Comics character of the same name. The film is being produced by DC Films and distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures, and is a reboot of the Batman film franchise. The film is directed by Matt Reeves, who wrote the screenplay with Mattson Tomlin.

FILM RATING
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Drama

Mothers of the Revolution – They’ve Challenged World Leaders, Altered The Course Of History And Truly Inspired Millions

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Mothers of the Revolution tells the story of one of the longest protests in history. Between 1981 and 2000, thousands of women from around the world came together at Greenham Common to take a rightful stand against nuclear proliferation. This remarkable group of fearless women were shunned by the press and the media. Director Briar March reveals the women as the cold war heroes they truly were, she tells the story of these women through their eyes and though reenactments as they persisted arrests, condemnation and scorn. 



In the early 1980s, a young mother in Wales was alarmed like many about the UK government’s Campaign called “Protect And Survive”, which advised people to use the four minutes between the warning and a nuclear strike to stack suitcases full of objects like books to absorb the radiation. The Pressure and rising threat to their own families’ safety called for action and thus the Women for Life on Earth group was born.

From the conversation around the kitchen table in Wales, Karmen Thomas took action. She was instrumental in organising the initial protest which on the 5th of September 1981 these women marched from Wales too Berkshire to protest over the nuclear weapons being kept at RAF Greenham Common. Over 120 miles they become a living protest against the British Governments decision. The protest surly gathered momentum as when the reached Greenham Common permanent camps were set up. 

Many women joined the camp such as Chris Drake, a single mother and millworker who truly felt like she belonged and felt like she was born again. Young mothers were not a group who traditionally had their voices heard at the time and the press moved on to other issues they deemed more important, So the women organised Embrace The Base. A day in which the camp and women across the country who travelled up joined hands to form a human chain around the entire military base. 

This documentary is a celebration of Greenham such as its spirit and the effects, which were all worth celebrating. However the film also shows the difficult aspects such as the brutal evictions and assaults by the police force and soldiers. It truly was a Cold War drama/thriller with the tension of a soviet spy novel. It’s also the story of love especially for family and children , and of the commitment these women made to a higher cause. 



They’ve challenged world leaders, altered the course of history and truly inspired millions, it’s an emotional and empowering documentary. 

FILM RATING
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Drama

Brother’s Keeper – A Strong Film About Incompetent Adults Failing These Vulnerable Kids

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Yusuf (Samet Yıldız) and his best friend Memo (Nurullah Alaca) are pupils at a boarding school for Kurdish boys, secluded in the mountains of Eastern Anatolia. Both live in the same dorm as it’s a strict and a very repetitive environment, however when Memo falls mysteriously ill, Yusuf is forced to struggle through the bureaucratic obstacles put up by the school’s repressive authorities to try to help his friend. But by the time the adults in charge finally listen and understand the seriousness of Memo’s condition and desperately try to get him to a hospital, the school has been buried under a sudden heavy snowfall. despite the cold and with no way out, they’re desperate tp reach for help. Teachers and pupils engage in a blame game, where grudges, feelings of guilt and hidden secrets emerge. 



Brother’s keeper is truly a study about the power of social realism which is used as a persuasive tool but it’s also about the teacher’s incompetence, responsibility and guilt. It’s a character driven story that has investigative elements to it. 

The Pupils are reminded on how lucky they are to be there, yet it feels more like a relentless institution that’s run like a juvenile detention centre rather then a proper educational school. 

The film remains on the smaller scale and made to feel intimate. The sense of isolation creates this frosty atmosphere where the cold reflects the Icy tension between staff and pupils, the Institute is rather dull and callous but the film does have one running gag where staff members repeatedly slip on the icy floor as each teacher and headmaster enter the sickroom. 

Overall this is a really strong film about incompetent adults failing these vulnerable kids, which made the situation truly bleak. It has some great performances and foreshadows the ending which was so deep that it’ll linger.

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