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By now, you have either watched Judas and the Black Messiah or are at least planning on watching Shaka King’s gripping biographical drama starring Daniel Kaluuya and LaKeith Stanfield, which documents the final days of Black Panther Party icon Fred Hampton. If the movie has you wanting to know more about the events that led to Hampton’s 1969 murder, or at least the Black Panther Party and other associated groups, then you’re in luck because there are numerous movies, shows, and documentaries providing more details on one of the most intense chapters in American history.
From feature films that either feature different portrayals of Fred Hampton or equally significant cultural icons to documentaries that show the fallout of the death of the 21-year-old activist, there is a lot to take in. Here are seven movies, documentaries, and shows to stream after completing Judas and the Black Messiah.
The Trial Of The Chicago 7 (Netflix)
There are few movies that compliment each other better than the tandem of Judas and the Black Messiah and The Trial of the Chicago 7. Though drastically different in tone these two biographical dramas welcome modern audiences into one of the darkest and most tense chapters in the history of Chicago, as well as the United States.
Picking up after the events of the riots at the 1968 Democratic National Convention in downtown Chicago, Aaron Sorkin’s Golden Globe-nominated film follows the core group of activists who served as the scapegoats for the destruction and unrest that painted the streets of the Windy Chicago red with blood from protestors and police alike. The movie also features Kelvin Harrison Jr.’s portrayal of Fred Hampton, who is a major part of Bobby Seale’s (Yahya Abdul-Mateen II) defense prior to his brutal death.
Stream it on Netflix here (opens in new tab).
Death Of A Black Panther: Fred Hampton (Amazon)
The 1969 documentary Death of a Black Panther: Fred Hampton isn’t the flashiest or most in-depth option out there, but few, if any, capture the sense of pain, loss, and anger experienced by members of the Illinois Black Panther Party and their associates. This 27-minute television documentary consists of various interviews and press conferences that took place just hours after the December 4, 1969 raid carried out by the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office, the Chicago Police Department, and Federal Bureau of Investigations that resulted in two deaths and multiple injuries.
Stream it on Amazon here (opens in new tab).
The Black Power Mixtape 1967—1975 (AMC+)
The 2011 documentary The Black Power Mixtape 1967–1975 is the result of Swedish film crews shooting extensively at various locations throughout the United States over the course of eight of the most turbulent years of the 20th Century. The footage, which captures everything from Vietnam War protests to rallies by the Black Panther Party, was compiled decades later by filmmaker Göran Olsson who then split up the footage into nine sections with key figures of the American counterculture providing insight and commentary that then accompanies the footage.
Some of the interviews featured throughout The Black Power Mixtape 1967–1975 are so raw, unguarded, and powerful, it is amazing the footage sat unused and mostly forgotten for decades prior to its release a decade ago.
Stream it on AMC+ here (opens in new tab).
40 Years A Prisoner (HBO Max)
Most of titles on this list have to do with the Black Panther Party or other activist groups in the 1960s, but the 2020 HBO documentary 40 Years a Prisoner touches on a chapter in 20th Century American history that doesn’t get talked about nearly as much. Documenting the 1978 raid by the Philadelphia Police Department on the MOVE (Christian Movement for Life) group that led to the death of an officer and imprisonment of nine of the group’s members, the documentary follows the tragic story of the raid’s aftermath. The main focus on the documentary falls on Mike Africa Jr., the son of two of MOVE's organizers who has spent his entire life fighting to clear his parents' names and free them from prison.
Stream it on HBO Max here (opens in new tab).
A Huey P. Newton Story (Starz)
A Huey P. Newton Story, the Spike Lee film adaptation of Roger Guenveur Smith’s solo stage performance does as the title suggests and recounts the life and times of Black Panther Party co-founder Huey P. Newton, in a riveting and explosive manner. With Smith taking on the role of the late activist (who was assassinated at the age of 47 in 1989), the production helps explain all of Newton’s experiences, accomplishments, and fears to the audience (both in the crowd and those watching at home). This enlightening and oftentimes entertaining one-man show shows a side of the revolutionary that few outside of his inner circle got to see.
Stream it on Starz here (opens in new tab).
The Black Panthers: Vanguards Of The Revolution (Hoopla)
The 2015 documentary The Black Panthers: Vanguards of the Revolution is a perfect companion piece for Judas and the Black Messiah if you want to know more about the roots of the Black Panther Party as well as the group’s impact on American culture in the decades following its inception. Breaking down multiple aspects of the African-American activist group, this engaging film chronology from filmmaker Stanley Nelson Jr. takes dozens of interviews with key figures in the Black Power movement that are then played alongside rare and never-before-seen footage from the 1960s.
Stream it on Hoopla here.
Malcolm X (HBO Max)
And then there is Spike Lee’s critically-acclaimed biographical drama Malcolm X, which features Denzel Washington taking on the role of the slain activist, who, like Fred Hampton, struck fear into the hearts of the establishment with his teachings in the 1960s. This three-plus-hour epic follows the man formerly known as Malcolm Little from his youth all the way to his February 1965 assassination, providing insight into what radicalized the figure and led to him becoming one of the most polarizing names in American history.
Stream it on HBO Max here (opens in new tab).
Each of these titles relate to Judas and the Black Messiah in one way or the other. It could be they feature some of the same real-life figures, serve as followup pieces, or even just touch on the same subject matter. And, while each is different and unique, all seven should enlighten and move their audiences.
Philip grew up in Louisiana (not New Orleans) before moving to St. Louis after graduating from Louisiana State University-Shreveport. When he's not writing about movies or television, Philip can be found being chased by his three kids, telling his dogs to stop yelling at the mailman, or yelling about professional wrestling to his wife. If the stars properly align, he will talk about For Love Of The Game being the best baseball movie of all time.
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