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Director: Shaka King Starring: Daniel Kaluuya, Lakeith Stanfield, Dominique Fishback, Jesse Plemons Running Time: 126 minutes


One of many things that the last year has highlighted is that stories of authorities’ violent treatment of marginalised races are as relevant now as they have ever been.  Productions like Mangrove of Steve McQueen’s Small Axe series, popular television series like Watchmen and Lovecraft County and now Shaka King’s Judas and the Black Messiah, were all in production long before the murders of Breonna Taylor, George Floyd and Ahmaud Arbery in the US further revealed the dangers of state sponsored brutality and injustice. Each production resonates louder in the midst of these stories, but the creators behind them are motivated by something that has spread longer and deeper than our current moment. King looks back to the 60s, and the FBI’s campaign against Black Panther leader Fred Hampton, to communicate ideas that have been current, vibrant and essential for decades. If the system endures, so too must the revolution, and King aims to inspire and enrage in his depiction of the fate of this revolutionary.

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Director: Barry Jenkins Starring: Trevante Rhodes, Ashton Sanders, Alex Hibbert, Naomie Harris, Mahershali Ali, Janelle Monàe, André Holland, Jharrel Jerome Running Time: 111 minutes

On a beautiful Miami beach, a father figure speaks to the young boy he’s decided to take responsibilty for. It’s a safe, calm place away from the oppressive inner city. In the moonlight, Mahershala Ali’s paternal drug-peddler Juan says to the silent and sad young Little, black boys look blue. Which is to say, how they’re seen changes depending on the world around them, and isn’t necessarily reflective of the truth. These words and the way in which they’re spoken reveal much about Moonlight, a poetic film that explores many issues about identity both racial and sexual, but does so in a deeply intimate and personal way.

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