Diversity hits the big screen

The movies A Wrinkle In Time and Black Panther showcase the power of diversity in the film industry.

Photo by Bryan Ward, via Flickr
Photo by Bryan Ward, via Flickr

By Johairy Delacruz, Staff Writer

From the powerful themes to the dynamic cast and important messages to the audience, Black Panther and A Wrinkle in Time have quickly become blockbuster films that have proven to be inspirational to all.

Black Panther is an action packed movie and follows T’Challa, the new king of Wakanda, and his attempts to protect the people and secrets of his nation from the rest of the world. Starring Chadwick Boseman, Michael B Jordan, Lupita Nyong’o, Angela Bassett and Daniel Kaluuya, Black Panther has done what no other major film production has even tried to attempt – having an all-black cast and director, Ryan Cooger.

Despite the belief that diversity doesn’t sell, the movie surpassed all expectations and smashed box office records on their opening weekend. After passing the $1 billion mark at the global box office in just 26 days, Black Panther has become the fifth marvel movie to reach this milestone alongside The Avengers, The Avengers: Age of Ultron, Iron Man 3, and Captain America: Civil War.

Black Panther just became the highest grossing superhero film release of all time making $630 million in domestic sales, surpassing Marvel’s The Avengers, which  made $623.4 million. The success of Black Panther has shown the importance of the representation of black people in films as well as the importance of celebrating black people and their culture. Confirming that Black Panther isn’t just a movie but the start of a movement.

“The movie was released at the right moment,” said sophomore Thalya Casado. “With everything going on and tensions rising in our country involving discrimination, African Americans deserve to have their culture represented in the entertainment industry. This movie allowed for authentic culture to be represented, instead of what people think it is.”

Films that positively portray diverse talent can generate role models for children, particularly in the movie A Wrinkle in Time. Disney’s A Wrinkle in Time tells the story of Meg Murry, a young girl in search of her missing father. Brought to a new world with the help of witches, she hopes to find her father but soon discovers that she is the only hope to defeat the darkness that threatens Uriel, the Utopian world.

The movie is breaking barriers by promoting diversity of age, gender and race with messages of love and empowerment. This is showcased with an all-star cast including Oprah Winfrey, Reese Witherspoon, Mindy Kaling and Storm Reid.

Ava DuVernay, the director, is the first black female director to have a budget of over $100 million. In an interview with the Hollywood Reporter, DuVernay said “This is a happy movie in a dark time, which is particularly important for young kids, especially young regular girls. They need to know that they can be recognized for just being themselves…”

With messages of inclusivity and empowerment geared towards children, A Wrinkle in Time shows the importance of encouraging young girls to be themselves. The film also allows nontraditional role models to emerge, allowing youth to bond with the characters.

Black Panther and A Wrinkle in Time proves that diversity in films has a powerful influence on minority communities. Both films made history by being the first films with black directors to hold the top two spots in the box office. Contrary to popular opinion, diversity sells and it might be a necessity too.

About Diana Russo 1 Article
Student generated by Banner @ 04/15/2014 06:00:04 PM

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