While Queen & Slim embodies everything from provocativeness, stunning cinematography, injustices, and the visibility of oppression, it is not to be confused as love on the run or Bonnie and Clyde. The film exhibits systematic racism with an impactful ending that’s historic, honest, and heartbreaking on many levels. It’s a tale of ones escape from the hell of America with gripping and jaw-dropping moments. Here are six things I took away from Queen & Slim.
One Thing Changes Everything: It’s not long before you realize how one mishap has the ability to alter the trajectory of one’s life. That’s exactly what happened to Queen and Slim. An unfortunate incident, which they knew wouldn’t been viewed as an accident, forces them to embark on a journey neither one of them wanted to, but understood they had to, because there will never be any real justice.
Overexposure of Today’s Youth: We are no longer living in an analog world, it’s digital. On their journey, Queen and Slim’s paths cross with a young boy who’s become overly invested and intrigued by their story. Perhaps it had something to do with the dash cam footage going viral. The film exposes us to how today’s youth are overly exposed to things that our parents were once able to shield us from. It showcases how much of an influence the world outside of the four walls we live in impact our children, and there’s not much we can do about it.
Hatred vs Heroism: Some are going to love what you do and some are going to hate what you do. Queen and Slim soon found out how people truly felt about what they’ve done. They were met with a jarring approval and disapproval, but the sense of community, pride, and solidarity seemed to act as a shield and hope for the pair. The film’s underlining theme told the story of how blacks are often perceived by the public without explanation.
Skin Folk Ain’t Always Kinfolk: They like to say, “it be your own people,” and that truth wasn’t farfetched. Earlier in the film, when they’re hitchhiking for help, Slim hopes the one who comes to their aid would be someone black. Queen quickly replies by saying, “that isn’t always a good thing.” They’ve encountered their fair share of eye rolls and betrayal from blacks on their journey and found refuge in the Shephard’s modern day “underground railroad.” In the end, it came down to every man for themselves verses a crab in the barrel mentality.
Black Love: To believe this all started from a Tinder date. This unforgettable first date became a six-day love story. It doesn’t read any more beautiful than two strangers becoming bonded by an unexpected incident. Who knew a believer and non-believer could become each other’s belief system? On this road trip to freedom, they unveil scars and healed them all while finding balance in one another. They decided to enjoy the experience regardless the outcome, although it was a first and only date that was destined to be doomed before it ended. It remarkably examined the experience and exchange that resides in a new relationship that many don’t want to survive.
Understanding: One thing in particular this film did to combat against present-day racism was it begged for more understanding rather sympathy. Instead of trying to coerce the audience to see the plight and struggle of blacks, it urged for understanding of the plight. It spoke on the multi-levels of racism; how black lives really matter and are perceived. By examining black radicalism and black suffering, the creators perfectly painted the picture that blacks aren’t just deer tangled in branches that need freeing.
Queen & Slim is non-violent and hones in on the pain, strife, complexity, and unapologetic-ness of blackness. It didn’t reinforce any black stereotypes, but more so mirrored the truth that lies in blackness. All Queen and Slim ever did was be black, while journeying to their destination, which ultimately became their legacy.