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Queen & Slim

Queen & Slim may be the best—and is almost certainly the Blackest—film of 2019, and is perhaps most poignant for its gorgeous, complex, and multifaceted portrayal of the Black experience, where sparks of joy and love exist alongside pain, struggle, and oppression. One of the reasons director Melina Matsoukas and screenwriter Lena Waithe's made the film with Universal Pictures was their guarantee that Matsoukas and Waithe would have say over the final cut—a choice Waithe says was to ensure the film wasn’t influenced whatsoever by the white gaze. They only did one test screening, with an all-Black audience; the result is a new American romance/drama written in the Black American language, told via a fully Black lens, and including a diverse array of characters who show that Black people are not a monolith. While there are definitely triggering parts (I cried twice), I also laughed a lot and, like many of the film’s characters, I genuinely enjoyed rooting for the criminalized, on-the-run protagonists. For 48 hours after seeing this movie, I couldn’t stop thinking about it.

by Jenni Moore
Showtimes & Tickets

Trailer

Credits
Director
Melina Matsoukas
Cast
Daniel Kaluuya, Jodie Turner-Smith, Bokeem Woodbine