Beyonce recently released a brand-new musical film, which serves as a companion to her 2019 album “The Lion King: The Gift.” The 85-minute visual album tells the journey of a young African king who is cast out from his family and put into an unforgiving world. Beyonce plays a mother figure and narrator in the film, encouraging black people to not be defined by society’s negative portrayals of Africa and instead to try to find a leader within themselves. The journey the album explores is one that involves betrayal, love and self-identity, as the young king tries to reclaim his throne.
Directed, written, produced and performed by Queen B herself and her wonderful team, the album has received universal praise from audiences with many calling the film a masterpiece. “Black is King” currently has a 98% fresh score on popular critic site Rotten Tomatoes. Popular celebrities like actor Kerry Washington and singer Lizzo have praised and congratulated Beyonce for the impact the artist has made with her latest project.
The album, released in 2019 to promote her film “The Lion King,” in which she plays the character Nala, had re-entered the Top 10 on Billboard’s Top 200 chart after the release of the musical, peaking at a position of No.10.
The film serves as a celebration of not just black empowerment, but also represents all the major ethnic groups around the world. Several cameos of Beyonce’s family members, famous celebrities and ethnic groups totally took fans by surprise, and many fans expressed their feelings about it on Twitter. Beyonce has dedicated this album to her son, “Sir Carter. And to all our sons and daughters.”
While many of her fans and reviewers have praised the musical, some who were supposed to feel empowered by the film are not impressed. One Twitter user labeled Beyonce’s latest film to be “crap.” They pointed out how they were “tired of seeing animal skin costumes” as a way of portraying Africa, and that “this is how the Western world likes to imagine Africa.”
Beyonce’s powerful attempt at empowering the black community, especially during a time where social issues such as racism, sexism and white privilege are ever present in the US, is commendable. The praise and rave reviews suggest that, from both a social and artistic standpoint, the film has made an impact toward empowering many ethnic communities in not only the US but throughout the entire world.
“Black is King” is available to watch on Disney+.
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