Movie Buzz: Black Panther touches on identity issues Christians can relate to
Article By EEW Buzz Editors
Among moviegoers, Christians helped drive Disney and Marvel Studios’ Black Panther to an epic $201.7 million box office debut.
As people of faith and color, we have a common with the characters of the Blockbuster film, Black Panther: the struggle to honor who we are in a world that tempts us to abandon our true identity.
According to The Gospel Coalition writer, Kyle Mann, Christians have a more deeply ingrained identity as citizens of God’s kingdom, and our challenge is to figure out what that looks like in this present world.
He asks, “What are the implications of the fact that our Christian identity unites us to people across cultures, borders, and bloodlines?”
Here is an excerpt of his thought-provoking piece:
At the beginning of Marvel’s latest film, Black Panther, we see the Wakandans are at once isolated and dispersed across the globe, with some of its young citizens never having seen their home country, and many others keeping to themselves, safe within the country’s borders. Those who already live in the mystical land of advanced technology and strong African culture are increasingly pressed upon by threats from the outside. In a world ravaged by war and colonialism, can Wakanda stay true to who it is?
The Black Panther himself, T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman), son of T’Chaka (John Kani), embodies this tension. In a Marvel universe dominated by superheroes patrolling the globe, T’Challa wonders if there is room for an African ruler whose values find him out of step with the imperialist countries that dominate the world stage. At the same time, the Black Panther struggles with his own place in his family tree and how to deal with his ancestors’ failures. At a moment in our history when globalization, technology, and other factors are blurring lines (and creating clashes) between local, national, and global cultures, this is a timely discussion.
The thread of identity winds throughout Black Panther. When civil war threatens to tear the Wakandans to pieces, their identity holds them together. When a misguided ruler plans to use Wakanda’s resources to fund revolutions across the globe, its citizens face the difficult tension between ambition for greatness in the world and staying true to who they are as a people. Every Wakandan is forced to weigh identity as a peace-loving, prosperous people against the strong temptation to rise up and become a world power.
Read the full article here.