Run time: 126 mins
Director Shaka King’s breathtaking biographical account of a man’s desperate descent into a vicious circle of betrayal and deceit.
The setting is Chicago, in the late 1960s. When he is arrested and charged with car-theft, petty thief William O’Neil (Lakeith Stanfield) is approached by FBI agent Roy Mitchell (Jesse Plemons). The deal: be an informant for the Bureau and the charges will be dropped. Under orders from the then FBI director J Edgar Hoover (Martin Sheen) O’Neil infiltrates the Illinois Black Panthers and works his way up to the top, growing closer to chairman Fred Hampton (Daniel Kaluuya) and his entourage while carrying a crushing burden of guilt.
Elevated by a stunning performance from Kaluuya, the film takes us right into the heart of the shocking historical events that shaped America’s current political landscape. King seizes the day, choosing an approach that is straightforward and based in fact and circumstance rather than attempting to shoe-horn contemporary political references into to the subject. It works to stunning effect although it’s worryingly easy to connect the dots……
It goes without saying: much is yet to change. (research Chris Coetsee)
These are the best two young actors in years. They don’t ‘act’ so… Don’t miss them. Come.