Every now and then there are films that manage to tell the kind of stories this world needs more of. Queen & Slim is one of those films. While addressing important matters like racial profiling, injustice, black love, and the hidden weights and traumas that can come with being black in America, this particular story also manages to make a strong and unapologetic impact and statement in its delivery and unique style of storytelling throughout the film.
Powerful storytelling is a necessity. And films like Queen & Slim afford many of us the opportunity to be exposed to a gripping story of two young black people, Queen and Slim (Daniel Kaluuya, Jodie Turner-Smith), on the run after an escalated traffic stop from a white police officer that resulted in the death of the officer by means of self-defense. Controversial? Sure. A necessary story? Absolutely. This is a story that additionally prompts more conversations and hopefully peaceful and fair conflict resolutions when it comes to race, racism, challenging long-standing biases between law enforcement and people of color, and a chance, as viewers and human beings, to put ourselves in someone else’s shoes.
Think about this for a moment. If you were a minority who found yourself pulled over by a police officer who belittled you and mishandled you even after you complied with their directives during your traffic stop, pointed a gun at you and whoever was with you, and actually fired their weapon, surely your entire life and the lives of those you love and care about would be forever changed. Queen and Slim chose a life on the run, and they had each other all the way to the end, but in different real-life scenarios, others have not been so fortunate. Queen & Slim allows us to see the hate and love in this world, but to also take the time to ruminate on what prompts the hate, love, fears, worries, pain, and traumas that can weigh on us and different races and cultures on a regular basis.
I like to believe that powerful storytelling is what drives important conversations. The important conversations call for action, and action, when delivered justly, properly, and fairly, prompts necessary changes that need to take place.