Why it Matters
… films generally…., and Black Panther in particular, is a uniquely wonderful, and engaging medium through which to introduce and encourge people to reflect on values.
While parenting today, is increasingly a challenge. More so, for a parent / guardian facing the challenge of drawing the attention of kids’ [including many grown-ups] from engaging in meaningful deep conversations,…..…… isn’t it?
The situation is not made any easier, when the conversation is about something extremely important, and yet rather abstract such as building character?
Then again who says you have to sweat it out?
“Stories [movies] work so well to persuade us because, if they’re well told, we get swept up in them, we are transported inside them as we soak in the behaviour, values it signifies. I’m certain you recall when your junior [even grown-ups] you know begun immitating a character on a TV show.
Turning the Tide: So what if we secretly stacked the cards in our favor? What if, as a parent, one were strategic in the choice of films watched by the kids, and then used that impressionable time right after the movie concluded to discuss and impress upon the child the favorable character traits we want them to glean from that movie?
You could take such an opportunity with Black Panther, ……
Black Panther is one such masterful superhero drama. It is about a Prince, Prince T’Challa of Wakanda [Chadwick Boseman] who assumed his father’s mantle as king, and as King , becomes a national protector – the Black Panther – in this film. King T’Challa then leads Wakanda into the future, while dealing with some secrets and consequences of his predecessors’ actions …The movie is glorious and very motivating. It is also an affirming movie for girls and women; with a woman as the general of the army! And a young girl who is an engineer ……and the most brilliant scientist on the globe!
….…woi…..I shouldn’t running ahead of things ……..
Unique Family Date; Unlike many others, Black Panther is not only the first film in the Marvel cinematic universe to center on a black superhero, but it has deep characters, an uplifting storyline, and outstanding acting.
You deserve a date with this film coming to netflix. It’s a unique opportunity to further connect ….with the kids…in the family …..
The movie also has a fair sprinkling of tips for entreprenurial families and reflects the clear themes of integrity, courage, teamwork…… and more…. This means there’s plenty for families to talk about after watching this Common Sense Seal -honored film.Guardians Flag: While Common Sense Media suggests it’s great for ages 12 and above. The film presents a fair amount of hand-to-hand fighting…… bad guys…. amazing heart-pounding car and aircraft chases, and even a few guns, but nothing overly graphically bloody. Yet and still, it is violent and may not be appropriate for young children not already exposed to the Marvel universe.
If your kid is under 10 years old, and its the childs’ first Marvel movie? …..Uh uh ……then this might be a bit much! …
….you may pause before giving approval!My personal takeaway here, is that the film is just a bit longer than other films for kids. It clocks in at two hours and 15 minutes. And, unlike Moana, which is animated and an hour and 47 minutes, Black Panther doesn’t sing a song every 10 or 12 minutes.
My eight -year-old niece – I think – would however love this film; in doses. She could totally dig the teenage girl Shuri, portrayed by Letitia Wright, and Danai Gurira busting butt, with Chadwick Boseman getting up after getting beaten down. And those war rhinos? …..Oh my…. . She would loooovve it …pap…
………..of course as a parent [a mother], you know your child best…….
Ideals: Considering the ideals the film espouses, no matter the age of the child, parents ought to have a discussion about the main themes of this [and any other] movies and highlight the takeaways as an opportunity for character and values building within the family.
I’d recommend the ‘family’ watches it together,” Black Panther has lots of conversation starters to discuss when exploring deep conversations within the family.
Such starters may include:
- Talk about the role models in Black Panther. Who are they, and what character strengths they exhibit? How T’Challa demonstrates courage, integrity? What of the teamwork?
- Why it is important for superheroes to be diverse? …..Recall the DNA of the character of the Tarzan character or Flash Gordon cartoons / movies with the idea of a clever white man bringing order to the “dark continent” of thick red lipped black people….,!!!!! How is Black Panther an example of both racial and gender diversity compared to other superhero films?
- How does the movie explore issues related to race? Why is Erik’s perspective on the world so different from T’Challa’s? Is one right and the other wrong? Why, or why not? Why does representation matter in movies and books and on TV?
- How are the Dora Milaje [T’Challa’s all-female combat fighting force] unique in the movie? What did you think of the way the movie portrays women in usually “male” roles …..in..warrior general, tech expert, ….? What message does that convey to viewers?
- What is the movie’s message about global responsibility? Do you agree with the view that the Black Panther [depicting your family] should keep Wakanda [its’ family resources] safe at all costs or with the idea that Wakanda should help less-stable, less-advanced nations [other people] and communities by sharing their resources?
- In essence, figuring out the difference between doing what’s right [for you or for a kingdom].
- For the older juniors, why not talk about the real Wakanda: ancient Mali or Asante kingdoms, Egypt and ancient Ethiopia, Timbuktu, great Zimbabwe…….. “All these incredible African nations which much as they form part of the curriculum in school ….their historical significance are NOT FULLY appreciated. And in some instances even downplayed.!!!!!
The Black Panther gives us a springboard to lift off the lid on racism and colonization.
The film goes on to deal with the power of fathers [or the lack thereof], the power of education, the power of suggestion and the tension between doing something versus sitting on the sidelines.
I trust that we have succeeded in persuading you, as a parent, to watch every detail and scene of this [and other] movies and to make a wise decision about watching movies as a means for engaging in meaningful deep conversations,…..
…..wish you – as you watch Black Panther – a rewarding family-bonding-values-transmission-session ….