Timely trailer for Fred Hampton biopic 'Judas and the Black Messiah'

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2020/08/11/timely-trailer-for-fred-hampto.html


I’ve been really excited to see this movie for a while now. They did a good deal of filming in Cleveland so it has been a pretty hot topic of conversation among the activists I know. Interestingly, the neighborhood they did the filming in was not one of the areas that was a major hub for black organizing in that period, in fact being better known for being one of the sites of physical barriers to integration in Cleveland. https://clevelandhistorical.org/items/show/762


Looking forward to this.

Just point of clarification, the director dismissed criticism by stating the casting was done within a diasporic way of thinking, not dismissing the criticism as diasporic thinking - which wouldnt make much sense given the initial criticism.


I’m not sure where i land on casting a British actor for the lead role. If they did a great job with their casting and they’ve got the chops to carry the movie i certainly would not begrudge him for it, though If they cast Daniel Kaluuya mainly because of his visibility as an actor then i do have to question the choice.

The Chicago Police assassinated Fred Hampton. And the hatred still runs deep. Several years ago the Chicago city council tried to name an honorary street after Fred Hampton. The plan failed because the Chicago Fraternal Order of Police objected strenuously.
Smiling Chicago Police carrying body of Fred Hampton


I’m often irritated at the constant casting of non-American actors in US productions. I think it’s partly that they’ll take less money, but also… well, they’re often very good. I mean, Hugh Laurie? But also, I think there’s something I call the Yale Effect – Some characteristic, like their having been selected by a prestigious institution, makes them safe to cast. In case your choice is questioned, you can always say, Hey, they went to Yale. Or, Hey, they’re English/Australian/etc.

Thanks, Andrea. I love everything about this, especially the fact that it was funded, cast, filmed, and found distribution. That is no easy feat. It’s taken 60 years for POC to have control of the narrative of their history. Hopefully, movies like this will stop the white perspective from telling Black stories.



Based on this, O’Neil sounds like he was a bit of a dumbass. Then again, information was tougher to come by in those days

They did that for Selma? :woman_shrugging:


To be fair, African American historians have been doing that since WEB DuBois… It’s only recently that whites have paid attention to that history as a major part of American historical study, though.

Hollywood is actually far behind the academy on this.


I don’t think that it looks that way at all. It was produced by Coogler who did Fruitvale Station, Fred Hampton Jr. was on set for a lot of the filming and the star Daniel Kaluuya pretty famously sued a police department for his own mistreatment. The writer has said in interviews that he considers Hamptons socialist politics to be a key fact in the story. There’s still a million ways for it to go wrong, but I don’t think that critique holds.


Highly recommended.

see also

there is an upload at https://vimeo.com/49981380 but it’s not embedding for me


You’ve piqued my curiosity about your ethnic background, now…


I’m goggling right now to see if anyone in Australia, Ireland, Denmark, Poland, Italy, or England have ever complained about Meryl Streep! :slightly_smiling_face:

Well, THIS IS ME COMPLAINING NOW! No, but seriously. When I met my wife (in the mid 90s), one of the first thing we bonded on was that Streep irritated us both. The continual signaling to the audience that however awful her character was, she was really a nice person. You know who doesn’t do that? Glenn Close. In fact, you could even do a “there are two kinds of people” thing with that: Chaplin and Keaton, Kramden and Lucy, Streep and Close. Me, I’m Keaton, Kramden and Close.

FD: I’m Keaton, Kramden… and Streep — whose many roles have warranted moral and personal ambiguities as scripted. (ex: “Sophie” in Sophie’s Choice, and “Thatcher” in The Iron Lady). I sometimes find it boring to witness a character played as purely likeable or otherwise. (There are exceptions, of course, as far as certain historical figures. No way in a performance to add moral depth to, say, Hitler… or to you know who.)

Gee I wonder where all those bullet holes in Hampton’s grave marker came from.



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