On November 9th I attended the “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” Atlanta movie premiere at the Fox Theatre. Little to my knowledge at the time, I’d be experiencing far more than a movie that night. Once I sat in the audience, I was immediately transported into the world of “Wakanda Forever” with a live drumming performance with young people marching through the entire theater. I felt united with a story that had not begun yet.
I wholeheartedly believe that if “Wakanda Forever” had no audio or subtitles, the visual storytelling of the movie alone would be one of the best I’ve seen in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. I was impressed by the storyboarding, cinematography, costume design and every aspect that contributed to the visual presentation of the film. It was done with brilliant intention to give me an experience that was endlessly interesting. The costumes created by Oscar award winning costume designer Ruth Carter were irresistible to observe. Each piece told their own story that was fitting to the world it was created for. There were moments I wanted to pause the film to analyze the originality of each garment.
“Wakanda Forever” never failed to effortlessly convey emotion to the audience.Throughout the film, the emotions I felt were so strong I felt as if the movie was part of my own reality. An example of this was in the start of the film when American soldiers are descending into the ocean. As they went further, there was a wide shot that showed the soldiers as a speck of light in the vast unlighted ocean. It gave me an intense sense of helplessness and isolation — both of which the soldiers would feel in their upcoming demise.
In addition to this when Shuri (played by Letitia Wright) first explores the underwater kingdom ‘Tlalokan’ with our antagonist Namor (played by Tenoch Huerta), the camera moves our viewpoint fluidly and lightly, reflecting the beauty of Tlalokan. I felt as if I was in a real underwater civilization witnessing and experiencing collective harmony.
Another quality of “Wakanda Forever” I admired is how the creators of the movie chose to portray the woman-led cast. More often than not, in the entertainment industry women characters are written with a lack of being genuine or human. And usually, when a film does attempt to empower women, we are often given depictions of women that are tokenized symbols of representation and feminism. “Wakanda Forever” wrote and depicted their women characters with authenticity that came across as far more inclusive and real than any superhero film I’ve seen.
Watching “Wakanda Forever” brought me to tears seeing a majority Black female cast on screen written as real living individuals with the same respect any character should receive. As I sat in the audience, I thought back to a specific moment in my childhood when I wished I had more women and more specifically women of color superheroes who were written as the authentic main characters with the same effort and regard in their development writers place in male superheroes. To see Letitia Wright, Dominique Throne, Danai Gurira and many other “Black Panther” actresses on the screen as fully developed and complex superheroes made my inner child feel seen, healed, and happy.
The film gave us the space to continue to celebrate Chadwick Boseman’s life and respectfully mourn his passing, guiding us through the grieving process to a state of healing. “Wakanda Forever” is truly a beautiful tribute to Chadwick Boseman that commemorates his legacy.
“Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” also has an emotional intelligence. When I watched this film it felt as if both my reality and the Marvel Cinematic Universe were merged as one. The experience watching this film was therapeutic, exhilarating and thought-provoking.
I believe that “Wakanda Forever” is a beautiful ending to the fourth phase of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and has revolutionized the film industry, moving forward. I’m excited to see what’s to come in the future from Wakanda.