Updated: May 12, 2021
On January 29, 2021, “Atlanta” actor LaKeith Stanfield took to Instagram and dropped a post which looked to be one of the best films of the year. Only two months into 2021, Stanfield puts Judas and The Black Messiah on a very high pedestal to be one of the best, yet powerful, movies of the year.
The title of the movie references from the Bible as well as real life events. Judas and The Black Messiah lines up well with the betrayal story of Judas towards Jesus for his own selfish gain. Judas and The Black Messiah follows the Black Panther Party in the 1960s as well as its young, Black leader, Fred Hampton, played by Daniel Kaluuya.
The film centers more around the coerced and ultimate downfall of the Party and its leader at the hands of the FBI. One of their own party members, William O’Neal, played by Stanfield worked as an FBI informant who worked undercover to infiltrate to the party after being manipulated into the position at just seventeen years old.
If you know the biblical story, O’Neal is seen as “Judas” while Hampton is represented as “The Black Messiah,” but the film allows for the world to see the true enemy in our communities.
The film is very progressive and generates an underlying meaning of “everyone is not who they seem that are.” The entire film depicts various types of “Judases,” and it is clear to see that the system built for the just is only full of unjust individuals.
With more Black history and Black stories being told, this radical yet powerful film is set to hit theaters on February 12, 2021, and same day streaming on HBOMax for thirty-one days after the initial release date.