Black Is King (2020)
July 31, 2020 7:17 AM - Subscribe

Visual album from Beyoncé inspired by 'The Lion King', a young African king is cast out from his family into an unforgiving world. He subsequently undergoes a journey "through betrayal, love and self-identity" to reclaim his throne, utilizing the guidance of his ancestors and childhood love. The story is told through the voices of present-day Black people.
posted by ellieBOA (4 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
What is there to say? Every time Beyoncé puts out something new, it completely blows me away. This one’s no exception.
posted by BuddhaInABucket at 8:16 PM on July 31, 2020 [2 favorites]

Every time I watch a Beyoncé film like this (and how blessed are we to have multiple!) I learn so much, and I am delighted that the people she features in her art get to lift up their own, and in doing so bring so much new culture to my life. Moonchild Sanelly! David Hammons! Oumou Sangaré! Gqom as a whole genre!

I was so ready for this story. I've been living away from home for well over a decade and the sense of distance has become profound and invasive - I've missed so much and things have...changed...where I live now. The films' messages of departure, loss, resilience, conflict, return and even victory were so necessary and nourishing for me today.

Two final small highlights for me of so, so many:

- I noticed quite a few credits to the Smithsonian Folkways collections of music. For example, she credits this 1955 track from Bantu Choral Folk Songs by the Song Swappers and Pete Seeger (!). It is a paradox of our interconnected and yet profoundly divided world these days that I think I simply would never have heard this song without Beyoncé.

- I don't often see positive portrayals of African urban life in media, especially travel media designed for wealthy global-North "travelers" who seem to only go to Africa to visit big game parks in khaki vests, but Accra, Lagos and Johannesburg seemed just electrically vibrant and I want to visit them all right now.
posted by mdonley at 10:40 AM on August 1, 2020 [2 favorites]

This was remarkable. I'm still processing all of it, but there were so many images that struck me so hard and indelibly. Just breathtaking.
posted by Mchelly at 2:59 PM on August 2, 2020 [1 favorite]

Also I want literally every outfit in Water, but especially this hat.
posted by Mchelly at 9:27 PM on August 2, 2020 [1 favorite]

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