It’s clear veteran filmmaker Terry Gilliam didn’t understand how “Black Panther” was for the culture because he had some harsh words for the Marvel superhero flick. In an interview with IndieWire the British writer and director, who’s behind such decorated movies like “12 Monkey” and “The Fisher King”, called the Marvel movie “utter bullsh*t.”
Gilliam made the statement as his most recent movie “The Man Who Killed Don Quixote” was released earlier this year in the United States. Similar to other acclaimed filmmakers, like Martin Scorsese and Francis Ford Coppola, Gilliam also had a major critique for Marvel movies, saying they’re creating a monoculture of blockbusters.
“I don’t like the fact they’re dominating the place so much,” he said. “They’re taking all the money that should be available for a greater variety of films. Technically, they’re brilliant. I can’t fault them because the technical skills involved in making them are incredible.”
A pointed critique that’s worth a discussion, no?
But then Gilliam went even further and singled out “Black Panther” as the film that’s rotting hearts and minds.
“I hated ‘Black Panther.’ It makes me crazy,” he said. “It gives young Black kids the idea that this is something to believe in. Bullsh*t. It’s utter bullsh*t.”
He continued, “I think the people who made it have never been to Africa. They went and got some stylist for some African pattern fabrics and things. But I just hated that movie, partly because the media were going on about the importance of bullsh*t.”
Thank you, white man, for telling us how the movie will change Black children’s beliefs.
Gilliam might be shocked to know that most of the key cast and crew for “Black Panther” have, in fact, been to Africa. According to Yahoo Entertainment, the director of “Black Panther”, Ryan Coogler, took a trip to Africa with several members of his team to research and to create aerial shots for the movie.
The production designer for the film, Hannah Beachler, and costume designer, Ruth Carter, also recalled in interviews with TheWrap that Afrofuturist architecture from Africa and the attire of tribes like the Masai were key influences when creating the world of Wakanda. Both ladies won Oscars for their vision.
It seems Gilliam might want to do more of his research and have more of a pulse on Black culture before giving heated thoughts on a mostly Black-produced movie. No art is impervious to critique, but context is key.