-Judas and the Black Messiah

Fri 01 October 2021
Time 7:30 PM - 9:40 PM
Price £5

Director: Shaka King (United States, 2021)
Certification: 15  | 2h 6 min | Drama, Biography | Language: English

Chairman Fred Hampton was 21 years old when he was assassinated by the FBI, who coerced a petty criminal named William O’Neal to help them silence him and the Black Panther Party. But they could not kill Fred Hampton’s legacy and, 50 years later, his words still echo…louder than ever.
In 1968, a young, charismatic activist named Fred Hampton became Chairman of the Illinois chapter of the Black Panther Party, who were fighting for freedom, the power to determine the destiny of the Black community, and an end to police brutality and the slaughter of Black people.

Chairman Fred was inspiring a generation to rise up and not back down to oppression, which put him directly in the line of fire of the government, the FBI and the Chicago Police. But to destroy the revolution, they had to do it from both the outside…and the inside. Facing prison, William O’Neal is offered a deal by the FBI: if he will infiltrate the Black Panthers and provide intel on Hampton, he will walk free. O’Neal takes the deal.

“Judas and the Black Messiah” is directed by Shaka King, marking his studio feature film directorial debut. The project originated with King and his writing partner, Will Berson, who co-wrote the screenplay, and Kenny Lucas & Keith Lucas, who co-wrote the story with Berson & King.

The film was awarded this year with two Academy Awards including Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role to Daniel Kaluuya and Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures (Original Song). It  stars Oscar nominee Daniel Kaluuya (“Get Out,” “Widows,” “Black Panther”) as Fred Hampton who received a Bafta Award for his performance, and LaKeith Stanfield (“Atlanta,” “The Girl in the Spider’s Web”) as William O’Neal.

‘It’s fascinating in its own right, and even more so when looked at alongside other recent movies’ – The New York Times

★★★ ‘Daniel Kaluuya gives an electrifying performance’ – Roger Ebert

‘The best political films are often the ones which, knowing that art’s purpose is not merely to reiterate life, bend history to their own ends, making jagged, damning, or heroic arguments about the people therein. And this is the spectrum on which Judas and the Black Messiah sits for’ – Rolling Stone

With support from the BFI Film Audience Network (BFI FAN) awarding funds from The National Lottery.

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