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Published On: Fri, Nov 22nd, 2019

QUEEN & SLIM REVIEW: An uncomfortable look at racial tensions, police shootings

Opening on November 27, 2019, Queen and Slim should definitely provoke interesting conversations over the Thanksgiving holiday.  The film tells the story of an Afro-American couple on their first date who are pulled over for a minor traffic violation and find themselves with a police officer who has an itchy trigger finger.  The situation quickly escalates into an unprovoked violence during which Queen takes a bullet and Slim ends up shooting the officer in self-defense. Fight or flight responses kick in and Queen (who happens to be a lawyer whose client was just put to death by the state) insists they take the officer’s gun and run.  

While evading police, they try to reason through their options and desperately decide they must leave the country.  But as they run, they begin to realize that everyone they encounter already knows who they are, despite altering their appearances.  With dash cam video playing on every news report, their faces have been splattered across the country and they have been branded cop-killers and begin to realize that they have very little chance of surviving their circumstances despite having led law-abiding lives until that fateful encounter.

Protests erupt into dangerous encounters.  Regular folks escalate situations into more violence and senseless death.  Their unsuccessful first date becomes a statement about racism and violence while all they wanted to do was get home and end an evening that hadn’t been going well at all.

The film did an excellent job showing how the country launches into rage and people are divided over the guilt or innocence of the young couple regardless of their own race.  Even police officers are divided on how they view the situation. The fact that the dead officer had been involved in what appeared to be a racially-motivated shooting a few years before adds another layer of complexity to the issue.  

So, why not give it a higher rating? 

It’s just not an entertaining experience. 

It’s uncomfortable and discusses a sad reality in our country still today.  Although it is very well done, it’s not a film I would recommend for date night.  I would recommend seeing the film at some point in time, but probably after the joy of the holidays is behind us. 

Opening for Thanksgiving is probably intentional and meant to stimulate conversation, but I would much rather focuses on heart-warming movies at this time of year and come back to the brutal realities of the world afterwards.  That said, I would suggest watching this with young adults as they would probably be the most to gain from the ensuing conversations.

Queen & Slim earns 7 out of 10 stars

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About the Author

- Writer and Co-Founder of The Global Dispatch, Brandon has been covering news, offering commentary for years, beginning professionally in 2003 on Crazed Fanboy before expanding into other blogs and sites. Appearing on several radio shows, Brandon has hosted Dispatch Radio, written his first novel (The Rise of the Templar) and completed the three years Global University program in Ministerial Studies to be a pastor. To Contact Brandon email [email protected] ATTN: BRANDON

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