i never saw judas & the black messiah in theaters due to it unfortunately being one of the films released when the pandemic was in full force, so i watched the premiere on hbo max. then i watched it again. and again. and again. and again.
even though this is about events in the late 1960s, it feels prescient—had covid not been a factor, it would have opened in the usa amidst the black lives matter uprising of 2020. but it also could have been released any year before or since & still felt completely relevant—a fact that in & of itself is a tragedy.
for the weekend of juneteenth, amc re-released this as ‘fan favorite’ film. the ability to watch this on the big screen was like seeing it for the first time all over. i like seeing movies in a theater because for the good ones, the emotion in the room is palpable—in this one, it was silent & heavy. no words were spoken as the audience slowly walked back to the hallway. everyone in the room had just experienced something that felt above a dialogue, because it is the dialogue.