One of the most gripping films to premiere at Sundance so far this year is Judas and the Black Messiah, which details the extreme lengths the FBI and Chicago police went to in order to take down Black Panther leader Fred Hampton.
Judas will be in limited theatrical release and on HBO Max starting February 12. My review is at Slant:
Fierce but mournful, Shaka King’s Judas and the Black Messiah serves as testament to a brief and revolutionary flare that was snuffed out before it could take hold. Unfolding during the late 1960s, when the Black Panther Party’s Chicago chapter was besieged by law enforcement, the film is filled with the high drama one expects from tales of heroes cut down before their prime. But because the drama is split between the story of that hero and that of his betrayer, King’s film complicates the expected narrative of martyrdom…
Here’s the trailer: