Terry Gilliam On Black Panther: 'I Think The People Who Made It Have Never Been to Africa'

Chris Menahan
Dec. 26, 2019

The genius behind the 1985 dystopian sci-fi comedy-thriller "Brazil" is not a fan of "Black Panther."

From IndieWire:
"I hated 'Black Panther.' It makes me crazy. It gives young black kids the idea that this is something to believe in. Bullshit. It's utter bullshit. I think the people who made it have never been to Africa," [Terry Gilliam] said. "They went and got some stylist for some African pattern fabrics and things. But I just I hated that movie, partly because the media were going on about the importance of bullshit."

When asked if he felt that critical praise for "Black Panther" was a politically correct response that ignored aesthetics in favor of identity politics, Gilliam said, "It makes my blood boil." The conversation pivoted to controversial remarks he made back in 2018 amid the Harvey Weinstein fallout and the wave of voices that responded to form the #MeToo movement. "We're in the era of the victim. We are all victims. It's all somebody else, abusing us, taking advantage of us. We are powerless, except except that we go out and do other things," he said.

Gilliam, however, stopped himself there. "I'm just very frustrated of the world we're living in," he said. "I do things to prod people, to make them think or make them laugh. And I always get myself in trouble."
There's no greater thought crime than pattern recognition in our liberal world order.

If you want a glimpse at life in Africa, check out Louis Theroux's BBC Two documentaries "Law and Disorder in Johannesburg" and "Law and Disorder in Lagos."

It's always entertaining watching Louie have his leftist illusions shattered.

Gilliam also had a good take on the Marvel Universe:
[...] [Gillum] cautioned that Disney and Marvel’s seemingly infinite resources could be put to better use. “If you are that powerful, you should be dealing with reality a bit more.” He also warned of what he believes to be the central lie peddled by such films, and the cultural threat it poses. “What I don’t like is that we all have to be superheroes do anything worthwhile. That’s what makes me crazy. That’s what these movies are saying to young people. And to me it’s not confronting the reality of, you know, the quote-unquote human condition. You know what it is like to be a normal human being in difficult situations and resolving them surviving,” he said. “I can’t fault them for the sheer spectacle, except it’s repetitive. You still have to blow up another city.”

[...] “Where’s the gravity, where’s real gravity? Because [in superhero movies,] everything is possible,” Gilliam said of the limitless worlds of the MCU. “It’s the limitations that make life interesting. Okay, so your suit burns up. So you get another suit because you’re Tony Stark. It’s not enough. They dominate so much.”

Gilliam also argued that superhero tentpoles are drying out any available resources for mid-budget films. “There isn’t room or money for a greater range of films. You make a film for over $150 million or less than $10 [million]. Where’s all this other stuff? It doesn’t exist anymore,” he said. “I make films where I’m trying to make people think. I mean, I try to entertain them enough that they don’t fall asleep on me, and they’re there to make you think and look at the world in a different way, hopefully, and consider possibilities. Those films don’t do that.”
Pushing the narrative comes before all else.

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