Black Panther doesn’t hit theaters until next week, but people are already expressing just how important the movie is to them.
The film, which has broken advance ticket sales records and is currently sitting at a perfect Rotten Tomatoes score, is not just the next installment of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It is a cultural turning point for many. Starring Chadwick Boseman as the titular Black Panther and directed by Ryan Coogler, Black Panther is the first MCU film to focus not just on a black superhero, but to be set in a (fictional) African nation, be made by a predominately black cast and crew, and is set to be unlike anything seen before in the superhero genre.
Black Panther is so culturally significant that there have been multiple campaigns to ensure that children in underserved communities will have an opportunity to see the film and even the film’s stars have spoken out about how excited they are for the film to represent what an Africa untouched by Western influence or interference might look like. Boseman told CNET the consideration of how the film presented even the smallest of details — such as T’Challa’s accent — mattered.
“People think about how race has affected the world,” Boseman said. “It’s not just in the States. Colonialism is the cousin of slavery. Colonialism in Africa would have it that, in order to be a ruler, his education comes from Europe. I wanted to be completely sure that we didn’t convey that idea because that would be counter to everything that Wakanda is about.”