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Black Panther claws at social barriers


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Black Panther is a new Marvel movie that was released on February 16, 2018 featuring the first ever African American superhero in a leading role. This movie is sparking major social change in younger and older generations of Marvel fanatics.

Black Panther is a brand new storyline based on the comic, it features Chadwick Boseman, Michael B. Jackson, Lupika Nyong’o, and Danai Gurira. The movie includes amazing visual and audio effects with very colorful scenery. This two hour long film is an action packed adventure with an emphasis on cultural heritage. Black Panther takes place in Wakanda, an African island. The plot follows the Black Panther and his fight to keep his throne from a long lost family member who plans to use Wakanda’s precious metal for evil. The movie, directed by Ryan Coogler, and a part of the Marvel franchise, has brought in $242 million into the box office so far. The most exciting aspect of this movie is the inclusion of the first ever African American super hero in a leading role. “I knew just from the comic book what a ‘Black Panther’ movie could be, the type of impact it could have, I knew it would be a revolutionary idea. I didn’t necessarily know that people would buy out [the seats in] theaters,” Chadwick Boseman said to ABC news in regards to Black Panther. The movie keeps everyone engaged in the story, no matter what age they are.

Black Panther’s revolutionary cast features a diverse group who are strongly involved with their ancestors and heritage. They mix in both English and their native language to show culture. It is something many families can relate to, with mixing languages in the home. “I think it will be good for [younger generations] to see someone [diverse and cultured] to be a superhero where up til now most are white.” Lisandra Cajghas, 9th grade comic book fan explains. For a younger generation or future generations to see a family embracing their heritage is very empowering. Many diverse people will finally see representation in the media, and see someone of color in a place of power; which is desperately needed among the Black Lives Matter movements and wage gap crisis. The strong, yet kind, characters show the meaning of selflessness and strength overcoming many difficult situations, such as death of a family member, bad upbringing, and tribal conflict. With this exposure on the big screen Black Panther will be a role model to many generations, old and young.

Not only does Black Panther feature this diverse cast, but also many strong female heroes, too. In the movie there is a group called the Warriors, made up completely of strong women with a fierce love of their country. There is no damsel in distress featured in this movie, the female superheroes create technology, fight with the Black Panther, and offer opinion in political meetings. “This sort of extends that conversation about black superhero women, women in superhero movies,” Lupita Nyong’o says to Popsugar, “There’s not just one image to look at. They’re all very different and have different types of beauty and strength.” Superhero movies have often been categorized as a boys’ thing and usually aren’t relatable to women. Black Panther makes girls feel empowered, strong, and capable as equals. Most movies sexualize women and use them purely for romance. However, this movie contained little romance, as the role of these women was to be a part of the war. Young girls can really relate to these strong female characters and feel confident and strong.

Future generations can walk out of the theater with a new found sense of identity and culture. “There is a sense of pride that I’ve seen from most people when they come out of the theater that is a very unique experience across the board, whether they’re African-American or African, or white, or Asian,” Chadwick Boseman says to ABC news. Black Panther inspire new superheroes with a richer story line. Future directors can see a new opportunity to make more and more diverse characters that break gender roles and the basic superhero movie roles. With new technology, Black Panther has amped up the visual effects to create an entire world out of animation. Camera angles and editing make the movements smooth and fights more realistic. Directors, not just at Marvel, will use similar techniques for flawless editing.

The Marvel franchise has also benefited from the success of the movie. According to The Atlantic, over the President’s Day weekend, Black Panther made 242 million at the box office, far outstripping the previous record for the holiday set by Dead Pool in 2016. Marvel is also donating 10 percent of all movie profits to black communities. Which will further support African American youth. Bob Iger, CEO of Disney tells Cinema Blend that Black Panther surpassed his expectations, and will defiantly help Disney’s and Marvels finical state. Black Panther features the song, “All the Stars” by Kendrick Lamar and SZA. Which is a hip hop/rap song inspired by the film. Black Panther has brought in more money than Justice League, Fantastic Four, and Avatar. These high profits will help revitalize Marvel and Disney. Reviews are raving and viewers are shocked to see Black Panther’s rich story line, cinematic features, and casting.

Do you think the Black Panther movie is creating social change?

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Black Panther is making waves in social changes, special effects, cinematic features, and profits. It is taking its place in the Marvel Universe and, in progression, movies. The film is a fun, fast-moving adventure that grips your attention with sudden plot changes and stunts. Black Panther will cause viewers to walk out of the theater with a new found sense of empowerment.

Grace Tasel

Black panther is now in theaters as of March 16. This film has a 200 million dollar budget and is selling out box offices at record speeds.

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Black Panther claws at social barriers