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  • Writer's pictureMr. Josh Evans

Wakanda Para Siempre


I’ll be level with you.


I was terrified for this film. It had so much ground to cover, had so much emotionality to pay off, had so much “Marvel formula” to steer clear of, had so many Black people leaning on it for cultural unification, and (let’s be honest) the trailers just looked so busy.

One of my friends, in an attempt to comfort me, said- “Bro, Ryan Coogler doesn’t miss.”

Unfortunately, I have one of those brains which sometimes auto-translates my deepest hopes into the dialect of past pessimisms personified, so all I heard was…


“Ryan Coogler is due for a swing and a miss, and this is probably going to be it.”


In my defense, I didn’t get enough hugs as a child from my dad.

Don’t worry, my therapist says we’re making great progress (at least I think that’s what her raised eyebrows mean).


Y’all.

This film is an experience.

It actually took me out of my analysis and fevered hope, into a place of wonder. You know that feeling we use to get so easily as kids? Where you’re transported away, delighted with the twists and turns of your favorite Saturday morning cartoon, thoroughly invested in the emotional journey of the characters? It was that.


After about thirty or so minutes, I found I was no longer thinking.

I was experiencing.

This movie plays with time in a very particular way. It speeds it up, it stretches it out, it holds you in the stillness of unticking moments, and then it plunges you back into the flow of the space time continuum once more. Having seen the theories, and postulated quite a few myself, I can confidently say that this movie is not what any of us thought it would be. The way Ryan crafted this tale together is something that deserves to be studied and discussed at length in the years to come.


Can you imagine what it took to make this?

The actors as well, all gave award winning performances. EVERYONE.

You could feel the weight of magnanimity in every drop of the film.


Namor.

Iron Heart.

The biggest additions to the vibranium mythology.

I loved them both.


Which also surprised me, because most characters and movies these days are caricatured parodies of something whose heart once beat real.


Can you pick it apart?

Anything can be picked apart; the real inquiry is whether or not the film holds without your explanatory hands keeping everything together.

Are there a few heavy handed moments?

No more than any other superhero film, and certainly not more than any of the good ones.


One thing I’ve noticed, is that the rice cake society never cares about a movie speaking plainly to the inherent issues and struggles of the characters unless they happen to be particular to Black and Brown folks. Interesting, que no?


Y en ese sentido, creo que la Latinidad les gustará la representación de sus idioma, gente, y historia en la película.


I encourage everyone to see this movie.

I’m glad I did.

I plan to see it a few more times for more processing.


One of my other best friends once commented about the first Black Panther, that he was on pins and needles the first time- and couldn’t get the total fullness of the film- because he was afraid it might have been bad. His first viewing of the first Black Panther was a deep relief, and then he went on to see it two more times for enjoyment’s sake.


That’s how I feel here.

I was so massively relieved that it wasn’t bad, and then swept away in my experience of it, that I know there are emotional moments I missed.

And I greatly look forward to experiencing this film again.


This was a profoundly moving love letter to Chadwick Boseman, and I hope he can feel the song of love which all our hearts do sing.


Wakanda for Freakin Ever.

HFE: 10.5/2


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