Bold, black and beautiful, 'Black Panther' hopes for cultural shift

From Reuters - February 12, 2018

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Some film critics are calling it the best Marvel movie so far; others say its a correction after years of neglecting minority talent in Hollywood.

The predominantly black cast of superhero movie Black Panther hope its combination of African pride, beauty and kick-ass adventure will also mark a cultural shift in the movie industry and beyond.

The Disney movie, opening worldwide this week, tells the story of TChalla/Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman), the newking of the futuristic, wealth-laden African nation Wakanda, who is challenged by factions within his own country.

Marvel has a way of really affecting popular culture, said Lupita Nyongo, who plays the Wakandan warrior spy, Nakia.

Hopefully it changes the general idea of what being an African is. Too often times we see Africa as a place that is wanting, and here its a place that you want to go, she said.

The movie, directed by Ryan Coogler and also featuring Michael B. Jordan, Angela Bassett, Forest Whittaker and Daniel Kaluuya, arrives to stellar reviews after years of criticism about the under-representation of movies, actors and filmmakers of color in Hollywood.

Analysts expect it to rake in some $150 million at the North American box office on its opening weekend, and the filmmakers hope it will encourage studios to invest in more mainstream, racially diverse films.


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