Judas and the Black Messiah - Review (Sundance Film Festival 2021)
A Badge Is Scarier Than a Gun. 4.5 / 5
Directed by Shaka King.
The story of Fred Hampton, deputy chairman of the national Black Panther Party, who was assassinated in 1969 by a Cook County tactical unit on the orders of the FBI and Chicago Police Department.
A devastating look at the impact of a revolution, Judas and The Black Messiah is powerful from its opening moments which is only strengthened by its two outstanding lead performances.
Kayuula and Stanfield give the best performances of their career so far, which is impressive considering their past work, as two figures at the centre of the Chicago Black Panthers in the 1960s. Kayuula asserts his dominance and power as the chairman while Stanfield battles his own demons as he finds himself on both sides of the fight unsure where he stands.
The way Shaka King directs drops you in the middle of the battle, sparing no intimate detail which transforms this retelling of history and breathes new life into it making sure that this betrayal of justice does not go unnoticed.
A commanding presence that will be sure to shake up awards season despite its late entry - a film that's talent will exhilarate you and story will shake you to your core.