Judas and the Black Messiah (2021)
ON THE BIG SCREEN!
Offered a plea deal by FBI agent Roy Mitchell (Jesse Plemons), car thief William O’Neal (LaKeith Stanfield) infiltrates the Illinois chapter of the Black Panther Party during the open conflicts of the late 1960s to gather intelligence on Chairman Fred Hampton (a hair-raising master-turn from Daniel Kaluuya).
Fred Hampton’s preternatural ability to bring potential enemies and rivals together made him dangerous to an America all too happy with the racist status quo. And so, with an even bigger target on his back than most Black leaders in the tumultuous 1960s had, a lot of different powerful groups trained their weapons on him. O’Neal was one of those weapons. And his responsibility for what happened followed him for the rest of his life. Judas and the Black Messiah wants to show you both sides of both of its main characters, and it’s impossible to shake the deep sadness of its outcome from our position here in the future. But it’s a story that deserves to be told well, and it’s a movie that lives up to its responsibility in that regard.
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