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New Escapist Column! On “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” and Complicated Postcolonial Politics…

I published a new piece at The Escapist this evening. This week marks the release of Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, and so it seemed like a good opportunity to take a look at the movie’s complicated postcolonial politics.

Wakanda Forever is a movie fascinated by the consequences of colonialism. Wakanda is defined by the fact that it has never experienced colonialism or imperialism, and Wakanda Forever throws the nation state into conflict with Talokan, a nation with an entire history shaped and defined by colonial violence. This gets at one of the central tensions of Wakanda Forever, in that it is a movie fascinated by the violence commited by victims of colonialism, rather than the violence inflicted by colonial powers.

You can read the piece here, or click the picture below.

New Escapist Column! On “Black Panther” and the Limits of Exceptionalism…

I published a new In the Frame piece at The Escapist this evening. With the release of Black Panther: Wakanda Forever this weekend, it seemed as good an opportunity as any to look at what sets the film apart from so many modern superhero movies.

Wakanda Forever is a superhero movie with an absent centre, built around the loss of actor Chadwick Boseman. Writer and director Ryan Coogler leans into this, building a superhero movie that is essentially about the limits of exceptionalism and the understanding that sometimes excellence alone is not enough to prevail. In a genre that is shaped and defined by power fantasies, Wakanda Forever embraces and explores a form of powerlessness that is radical within the confines of the superhero narrative, and one that grants the movie a thoughtful resonance in light of the years since the original’s release.

You can read the piece here, or click the picture below.

New Escapist Video! “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is a Loving Tribute and a So-So Film”

I’m thrilled to be launching movie and television reviews on The Escapist. Over the coming weeks and months, I will be joining a set of contributors in adding these reviews to the channel. For the moment, I’m honoured to contribute a five-minute film review Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, which is releasing in cinemas this weekend.