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Queen & Slim

Queen & Slim

USA 2019 - with Daniel Kaluuya, Jodie Turner-Smith, Bokeem Woodbine, Chloë Sevigny, Flea, Indya Moore ...

The Frankfurt-Tipp rating:

Movie info

Original title:Queen & Slim
Direction:Melina Matsoukas
Cinema release:09.01.2020
Production country:USA 2019
Running time:[approx. 132 min.
Rated:[from 12 years
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It starts as a harmless and not exactly perfect date. However, on their way home the first meeting between Slim (Daniel Kaluuya) and the young lawyer Queen (Jodie Turner-Smith) turns into a real nightmare when the two get into a police control and the situation quickly escalates, with Slim shooting the policeman in self-defense. But the two know that no one will care. They are cop killers and must leave the country as soon as possible. While the couple is on the run from the police across the USA, for many blacks they become symbolic figures, an expression of the struggle against racism, oppression and police arbitrariness. But the sympathy for Queen and Slim is not only expressed in support on their escape, but also in protests that take on dangerous proportions. 

With "Queen & Slim" director Melina Matsoukas takes up some quite important topics that make you angry and thoughtful. It's no coincidence that the whole thing reminds us a little bit of "Bonnie & Clyde", is stylistically absolutely stirring and played great. It is in parts a film that could be described as important. And despite the many positive aspects, I have a big problem with the way Matsoukas tells this story 

 It should be clear to everyone that we live in a society in which existing rifts are deepening rather than finding ways to build important bridges. Films can - even in a subtle way - make a contribution to rapprochement. But that is not even attempted here. The existing problem - and there is nothing to shake the fact that it exists - is illuminated very one-sidedly and leaves no room for nuances. Here prejudices are not only denounced, but also stirred up. With a few minimal changes and additions, Matsoukas could have dispelled such prejudices without the intensity of the finale suffering. 

"Queen & Slim" leaves a somewhat insipid taste in spite of some great moments. You can feel the (quite understandable) anger with which the story was staged, which doesn't necessarily serve the cause, though. Because no matter which side you take - prejudices and generalisations are never good. But since Matsoukas too often makes use of such generalizations and doesn't allow for any differentiation, the film doesn't convey a hopeful message that we could use much better than what remains at the end. Therefore the "worth seeing" here is only available with a very strong restraint.

An article by Frankfurt-Tipp


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Cinema trailer for the movie "Queen & Slim (USA 2019)"
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