In a month that kicked off with Hamilton, this is an impressive way to finish July off on Disney +.
American singer Beyoncé debuted her new film, Black is King, on Disney + today and it is visually stunning, showing looks at black culture and history worldwide.
I am not that familiar with the music of Beyoncé, but, apparently, this movie is the visual presentation of Beyoncé’s 2019 record, The Lion King: The Gift, which was released along with the “live-action” Lion King remake. The music of the film is impressive. Beyoncé’s vocals are powerful and strong and the mix of other voices and styles throughout the soundtrack provides a broad example of black music.
The story, for what there is, basically follows the concept of the Lion King, even using some voice over from James Earl Jones’s Mustafa to make the link. However, the story of this film is not what you are here for. This is more of a visual medium than it is anything else and this is where the film transcends.
The imagery throughout this film is wonderfully eclectic and imaginative. The colors, the choreography, the fashion, the display of culture blends beautifully with the music to provide a powerful viewing experience. My favorite reference to this was to call it “musical art.” That is a perfect description of the breathtaking visuals.
The settings of the film were scattered across the globe and provided a stunning backdrop to the dancing and the glorious movement.
Black is King is a love letter to black culture and stresses a pride in the depth of being black. Beyoncé goes out of her way to focus especially on children, showing how they can grow into a strong and confident adult, something vitally important as of this time of the world.
As a white man, I found myself moved by the power of the movie, so I can only imagine how the black community will feel. There is a healing tone to the film and that is something that we desperately need today.