As a Marvel movie, Black Panther goes beyond the conventions of a superhero saga largely popularized by the American media franchise. It is true that the film does keep some of the key elements of the genre. Wakanda is a mythical country cloaked behind an illusory forest and hiding the strongest metal on Earth, vibranium, from the rest of the world. Like other famous Marvel personalities, the main character and the hero of the story, T’Challa, played by Chadwick Boseman, lost his father, but his spirit is not crushed by this tragedy. He uses his power and strength that he gained from the nectar of a mystical flower and the bullet-proof vibranium suit for the protection and advancement of his people. From this description, it might seem like Black Panther does not break the mold but merely changes details and surroundings.
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Upon closer inspection, Black Panther turns out to be a movie that employs both fantasy and political commentary to promote its causes. The title itself refers to the Black Panther Party – a powerful American political activist group of the 1960s. Black Panthers advocated for black people’s rights and freedoms and after some time, expressed their support for the feminist movement. Black Panther shows black people – both men and women – in the position of power. Each character has a unique personality and is being themselves unapologetically. Further, the movie explores the topic of colonialism when it depicts the external aggression that Wakanda endures because of its abundant resources. Its citizens are torn between the need to protect themselves and the desire to help other African countries in fighting hunger and disease. In summation, Black Panther masterfully balances entertainment and consciousness: while the movie attracts broad populations with the fantasy of an imaginary land, it can also open a dialogue about real-world issues.