The highly-anticipated film Black Panther has finally hit Australian screens, and organisers from various black communities around the country are hosting screenings catering to people of colour (POC).
Written and directed by Ryan Coogler, who directed Creed and seventh Rocky film, the Black Panther was originally created as a comic book hero in 1966 and 50 years later, an all-black cast tells the story of T’Challa the Black Panther and his fight to protect the technologically advanced, fictional African nation of Wakanda.
Emelda Davis who was one of the co-organisers of a screening in Sydney said she thinks the film will shift people’s viewpoints to gaining a better understanding of the plight experienced by POC.
“I think it’s a positive film and I think it’s going to change a lot of perspectives and I hope that broader Australia and communities around the world can grow to love it and sit back with an open mind and experience it for what it is,” she said.
“These are our lives, this is who we are and living within a white framework is our challenge. So it’s about regaining what we have and being proud of what we’ve got.”
Bridgette Sancho, a fan and member of the Australian African-American community said she hopes that gatherings like these will build momentum for the formation of collective groups to share, connect and create.
“Using events like this that really showcase black excellence from a range of people from all over the world, not only celebrates the film because of its cultural significance, but creates an opportunity for us to cross lines,” she said.
“We also need this as a people because at the end of the day, although our struggles may be different, we do have a lot of similarities and I think we’re stronger as a collective.”
In Melbourne a large crowd of around 350 people packed out a cinema over the weekend, embracing the occasion by dressing up in cultural attire to celebrate black super heroes.
A volunteer at the screening said she was impressed not only with the representation of black people but particularly the female characters in the movie.
“Seeing black people, especially women who look likes us on screen, being represented as strong fearless beings and not slaves or criminals is something that means a lot to us,” she told NITV News.
The film has already earnt a massive $201.8 million just over the weekend and is estimated to earn another $235 million this weekend.