How Black Panther is bringing out the global African
February 10, 2018 9:05 AM   Subscribe

From all natural hair to all African clothing - Black Panther the movie - has been showcasing African culture, heritage, style, and music - so rare an experience that there's a movement on to get children of all ages out to the cinema.
“The thing that really touched black folks and Africans around the world is its imagery. Its use of wardrobe, its aesthetics, the colours, the design – that. People found their stories in that.”
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posted by infini (33 comments total) 45 users marked this as a favorite
 
The Kenyan city of Kisumu will host one private and one public screening of the highly anticipated movie on Feb. 13, county spokesperson Aloice Ager confirmed to BuzzFeed News. Kisumu is located in Kisumu County, where the Oscar-winning actor grew up and where her father Peter Anyang' Nyong'o serves as governor.
posted by infini at 9:10 AM on February 10 [5 favorites]


I'm not gonna lie, one thing I expect to keep me amused for some time is to watch how movie ppl explain international diplomacy and development. I've been ready since Civil War, since Wakanda is both a publicly known third world country and also able to provide aid post-Lagos. Watch me at the cinema with popcorn in hand.
posted by cendawanita at 9:25 AM on February 10 [5 favorites]


I thought that Wakanda was a secretive advanced society, not a developing nation.
posted by ActingTheGoat at 9:40 AM on February 10 [13 favorites]


Correct, but their public image is a third world nation, that's how they've flown under the radar supposedly, as set up by Civil War.
posted by cendawanita at 9:44 AM on February 10


Wakanda is both a publicly known third world country and also able to provide aid post-Lagos

I assume you're using "third world" in the older sense of "aligned with neither NATO nor the Communist Bloc."
posted by straight at 9:45 AM on February 10 [4 favorites]


I'm guessing that, since it would be ridiculous to claim there's a whole country hidden from the world somewhere in Africa, it will be the actual nature and wealth of the country (and maybe the locations of its cities) that are hidden by the holograms we see in the trailers. Also silly, but maybe enough of a lampshade to run with it.
posted by straight at 9:48 AM on February 10 [2 favorites]


i mean that, but also the shorthand used by previous MCU movies (I've mentioned CW but I always forget AoU) ie developing country, per Martin Freeman's character. (Tony doesn't know anything about the country but circa AoU the read was still that it just means it's a secretive nation). It's also established Wakandas do keep up the cover that they're not advanced.
posted by cendawanita at 9:48 AM on February 10


The director of a community center in Boston has set up a GoFundMe page to buy tickets for local kids during the public-school spring break.
Our withdrawal plan is to buy out atleast 3 theaters and purchase as many tickets and food vouchers on three different days and work with community agencies, the City of Boston and schools to identify students/ young people to attend the screenings.
posted by adamg at 9:56 AM on February 10 [23 favorites]


If the idea of a fictionalized, ascendant Africa is your jam, you ought to try the Blue Remembered Earth trilogy by Alastair Reynolds. I was skeptical at first, but I liked his idea of African nations picking up the pieces after the traditional superpowers collapse from climate change-fueled war.
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 10:14 AM on February 10 [17 favorites]


The Kendrick Lamar-helmed soundtrack is also pretty great. All The Stars is a jam, and it has been stuck in my head for days.

I am so, so excited for this movie. And yes, I'm also super interested to see how they explain Wakanda's place in the global community.
posted by yasaman at 10:42 AM on February 10 [6 favorites]


Check out the #AfrofuturismShortFilmFestival hashtag for a list of black scifi, magical realism and horror short films.

(For posterity, some of the recommendations include PUMZI (2009) directed by @wanuri Kahiu of Kenya; by @kibwetavares, JONAH (2013); The Abandon (2012), by @keithjosef; @BreeNewsome made this fantastic short #blackhorror film, WAKE (2010); .@reghud (Reginald Hudlin) directed THE SPACE TRADERS (1994) ; WHITE (2011) by @sayeedamoreno; RECORD/PLAY, Directed by Jesse Atlas @AtlasJesse ; DANGER WORD (2013) Directed by @luchina Fisher)
posted by straight at 11:11 AM on February 10 [13 favorites]


I just read Nisi Shawl’s Everfair, her attempt to write Steampunk that faces colonialism head on, and her view of an alternate-history Africa growing into the space left by the exhausted European powers (although with many wrong turns and all-to-human screw ups on the way) was compelling, and possibly relevant to people’s interests.
posted by GenjiandProust at 12:24 PM on February 10 [19 favorites]


how movie ppl explain international diplomacy and development.

If you’ve watched Agents Of Shield at all you probably already know that treat international diplomacy about the same way Shonda Rhimes treats politics. Not at all realistic, but serves the story well.
posted by eustacescrubb at 12:32 PM on February 10 [1 favorite]


Came to make sure that someone recommended Everfair. Was not disappointed.
posted by palmcorder_yajna at 12:44 PM on February 10 [1 favorite]


Wakanda is both a publicly known third world country and also able to provide aid post-Lagos

India comes to mind as a great example of this.
posted by infini at 1:37 PM on February 10 [1 favorite]


"This is what white people get to feel like ALL THE TIME?!!!!" (tweet with a video of reactions to seeing the movie poster in a theater, via tumblr via a comment on FanFare by oh yeah!)
posted by filthy light thief at 2:12 PM on February 10 [27 favorites]


since it would be ridiculous to claim there's a whole country hidden from the world somewhere in Africa,

I seem to remember the original way it could work was because of indifference on the part of other nations, so it would be totally in character to have it be because people are convinced it can’t possibly have real tech.
posted by corb at 4:14 PM on February 10 [6 favorites]


I don't think it would be hard for an African country to stay under the OFFICIAL American radar, anyway- they just need to play on American provincialism.

Does anyone remember that Doonesbury in which a boorish, hick, Bush-appointed diplomat to some South East Asian (I think) country is talking to the (native) administrative staff of the new country about how quaint and backwards he's finding the country? Meanwhile, the staff, in their own language, are talking about how they'll bypass this idiot.

The diplomat finally asks, "Hey, what do you do for fun around here?" and a staff member designated because of his excellent "broken English", says "We sing. We dance. We are simple people, Sir."

I am not sure there's an easier group of people to lead around by the nose than a lot of the Americans who get into government, especially when they're appointed as a favor.
posted by small_ruminant at 5:18 PM on February 10 [9 favorites]


hence me, with the popcorn, ready for this movie. :D

is anyone else having advance listings in their city/country? malaysia's selling tickets for tuesday shows already though the official opening is still the 15th. makes sense though, loads of people wanting to get their viewing in before heading off for chinese new year dinners.
posted by cendawanita at 7:07 PM on February 10


Given that there's a local news story here right now that a sociology professor had to be removed from his teaching job for failing a student when he didn't believe her that Australia was a country... Wakanda being hidden suddenly doesn't seem so far-fetched.
posted by TwoStride at 8:33 PM on February 10 [4 favorites]


Yeah I argue semi-frequently with people who know nothing more of Africa than poverty porn advertisements. Disgustingly plausible.
posted by AnhydrousLove at 1:11 AM on February 11 [4 favorites]


What do people think will happen at the various future comic cons? From pictures of cons that I have seen there are not a lot of black people who cosplay - will this awesome character bring black people to cosplay? If a white person cosplays Black Panther will that be upsetting? I don't know what the attitudes are among cosplayers though my son is pretty passionate about it. I figured there might be someone here with some experience.
posted by diane47 at 11:17 AM on February 11


There are lots of black cosplayers, and having a group of black superheros in a badass movie will likely encourage more.
posted by ChuraChura at 12:16 PM on February 11 [9 favorites]


i mean that, but also the shorthand used by previous MCU movies (I've mentioned CW but I always forget AoU) ie developing country, per Martin Freeman's character. (Tony doesn't know anything about the country but circa AoU the read was still that it just means it's a secretive nation). It's also established Wakandas do keep up the cover that they're not advanced.

To add, the reason for all of the secrecy is that Wakanda is where most of the world's vibranium supply is found.
posted by Fleebnork at 7:23 AM on February 12


I am absolutely here for the Afrofuturism but there's one nagging question I have... Does T'Challa call for elections by the end of the movie?

If not, I'll be forced to root for his ouster by the Wakandan People's Liberation Army.
posted by likethemagician at 9:32 AM on February 12 [2 favorites]


There's a dude that transforms into a green unstoppable monster because of gamma rays, a Norse god with a physics defying hammer, a skinny dude who was infected with a serum and shot with vita-rays and is now immortal/unnaturally strong & resistant, a billionaire weapons dealer who flies around with basically the most advanced AI & an unlimited energy source.... and you're getting hung up on the fact there's an hidden African country?
posted by WaterAndPixels at 11:07 AM on February 12 [9 favorites]


since it would be ridiculous to claim there's a whole country hidden from the world somewhere in Africa

lol MCU logic, but I'm pretty sure the answer to this is going to be ~HOLOGRAMS~ plus a certain measure of geographical isolation. Honestly, put all that together with your standard racist writing off of developing countries, and it's more plausible than a lot of other things in the MCU. The country's not hidden as in no one knows it exists, it's hidden as in no one knows they're living it up in a technological wonderland while everyone thinks they're poor goatherds or whatever.

I'm still wildly curious about Wakanda's in-universe history, which I already know will be some combination of vague, unsatisfying, and nonsensical, but I look forward to having fun trying to explain it all and put it in a global historical context in the MCU.
posted by yasaman at 12:39 PM on February 12 [2 favorites]


Has any MCU film ever been so important?

Please be good. Please be good. Please be good.
posted by rokusan at 6:22 PM on February 12


and you're getting hung up on the fact there's an hidden African country?

As a thirdworlder, I'm not hung up, I'm super laughing my ass off. I honestly can't wait.
posted by cendawanita at 8:46 PM on February 12 [3 favorites]


And just to clarify, I'm super entertained for all the various notes already raised here, like yasaman's comment and that story abt that american prof who didn't even know Australia is a country
posted by cendawanita at 8:48 PM on February 12


WHAT A GREAT MOVIE.
posted by cendawanita at 5:24 AM on February 13 [4 favorites]


I'm not much into comic book superhero movies, but I am all over Black Panther because it looks amazing. So excited.
posted by medusa at 7:57 PM on February 13


These Black Women Launched #WakandaTheVote To Register Voters At 'Black Panther' Screenings Everywhere
"We will be registering people to vote at movie theaters across the country so that we can #wakandathevote at the ballot box."
posted by infini at 8:55 AM on February 17 [4 favorites]


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