What makes 'Black Panther' so special?

Have you seen Marvel's Black Panther? Sophia tells us why it's a special film.


Watch the video and use the subtitles and the transcript to help you understand.


Hello, everyone, and welcome back to another video for the British Council’s LearnEnglish Teens website and their YouTube channel. I’m so excited to be making this video today about the Black Panther film which recently came out. For those of you who do not know what the film’s about or maybe haven’t seen it yet, it basically follows the story of the Marvel comic, the ‘Black Panther’, where our Wakandan king, T'Challa, is both the superhero and the king of the movie. He possesses the power of the black panther. As with every superhero film, our hero for this film, T’Challa, has to fight off the evil guys who are basically trying to disrupt and destroy the world, creating these mass weapons out of a special metal called vibranium, which is only found in Wakanda.

Wakanda itself is a fictional African country but it is, in many ways, very real as well. It uses a lot of aspects of different African cultures across the peninsula. Every aspect from the clothes that they wear, the languages they speak, the music, the dance, the rituals are taken from real-life African cultures.

Black Panther was actually the first Marvel film I watched, and I really, really, really enjoyed it, so I would definitely recommend watching it if you haven’t seen it already. And it actually made me go back and watch all the Marvel films, all the Marvel superhero films, and I actually realised by going back and watching all of them that Black Panther is actually quite different and special compared to the other Marvel films out there. As someone of African descent, this film is really important in terms of its representation of black people and also of Africa. This is one of the few Hollywood films in which we see black actresses and actors occupying the main roles. They’re not the sidekicks, they’re not the villains in this one, they are the hero of our story. And it doesn’t just stop there. Almost the whole cast is made up of black actresses and actors, and even behind the scene we have an amazing team of black creators working on everything from special effects, make-up, hair, stage design, everything. So this really is a celebration of black talent. I think it’s really important, especially for young people, to see people who look like them visibly occupying different roles and different spaces so that they too can be inspired and aspire to be like them and to be the best that they want to be in a certain role. And this isn’t just limited to black people. It really goes out to all kind of different ethnic groups or minorities in public spaces, as well, so I think this film is really good for setting a good example of how we should allow many different people to take centre stage.

As well as celebrating black people, as I said, this film also celebrates Africa. The portrayal we see of Africa is very different to the one that we unfortunately see nowadays, as a continent that is poor and helpless. Here we see another side of Africa, and a true side of Africa, which is filled with rich and vibrant colours and cultures, beautiful sunsets … all of which do really exist in Africa today. In December I was just visiting The Gambia to see my family members who live there and it was amazing. The sunsets were amazing, the food was delicious and everyone was just happy. It literally was the smiling coast of West Africa.

Even if you aren’t African or black, I think you can still really appreciate just how special this film is. Black Panther is one of the very first non-white superheroes to take centre stage in films. But the film didn’t come to life without its struggles. In 1992, actor and film director Wesley Snipes expressed his interest in making this Marvel comic into a film. However, this never became a reality. It’s only 26 years later that we’ve seen this film brought to life in front of our eyes. So the wait has been really long!

I literally could speak about the Black Panther for days because I love the film so much, so I’m going to cut the video short here, so you guys don’t have to listen to me ‘blabbling’ on for any longer. But now I want to hear from you guys, so please comment below if you have watched the film – let me know what you think of it. And definitely get online and search up more interesting facts about the Black Panther because this film is so well put together and so much thought has gone into making it. So I hope this video is just the starter to tickle your interest and get you on the Black Panther fan wagon, I guess! Hope you’re having a lovely day and I’ll see you in the next one. Bye, guys.


Have you seen Black Panther? What did you think of the film?

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Submitted by Ariel123 on Wed, 04/27/2022 - 23:54

I've seen the movie and I totally agree with you, despite Black Panther isn't my favorite superhero it is a really good one.
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Submitted by Kostantinus on Thu, 03/25/2021 - 11:28

I have not seen Black Panther, but after Sophia introduction I will definitely watch this movie as soon as possible. I have watched a trailer of this film and it was impressive.
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Submitted by empty on Mon, 07/08/2019 - 07:53

I love black panther movie !

Submitted by Tengor on Mon, 10/22/2018 - 15:34

I also love the Black panther film and I think you are totally right.
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