Beyoncé’s new film takes you on a journey of Black art, music, history and fashion as the superstar transports you to Africa to tell the story of a young man in search of his crown, matched to epic songs she created while inspired by “The Lion King.”
The voyage feels even more special during the current state of the world, as the Black experience has been looked at closely in the wake of the many deaths of Black people, and the Black Lives Matter movement that continues to protest racism and inequality. And for those of us who have been stuck in place for months because of the coronavirus pandemic, the voyage and escapism are welcomed.
In “Black Is King,” which debuted Friday on Disney+, Beyoncé continues to dig deep into her roots and share her discovery with the world, like she did on the sweet masterpiece “Lemonade.” Black pride is the centre of the film, with African artists strongly represented, as Beyoncé shares her stage with Tiwa Savage, Wizkid, Mr Eazi, Busiswa, Salatiel, Yemi Alade, Moonchild Sanelly and more.
They add a great deal of energy and beauty to the film — through lyrical delivery, eye-popping and sharp choreography, and bright and elegant costumes — bringing the songs from “The Lion King: The Gift” to life.
That album was inspired by the time Beyoncé spent voicing the character of Nala in the latest version of “The Lion King.” Audio from the animated film are included, but it’s the newer passages that truly resonate.
“When it’s all said and done, I don’t even know my own native tongue. And if I can’t speak myself, I can’t think myself. And if I can’t think myself, I can’t be myself. And if I can’t be myself, I will never know me,” a man says. “So Uncle Sam, tell me this, if I will ever know me, how can you?”
Later in the film, Beyoncé says: “We have always been wonderful. I see us reflected in the world’s most heavenly things. Black is king. We were beauty before they knew what beauty was.”
That leads into “Brown Skin Girl,” as Naomi Campbell, Lupita Nyong’o and Kelly Rowland — queens that Beyoncé name-drops on the song — make appearances alongside other black and brown women and girls in a deep celebration of melanin, diversity and sisterhood. Beyoncé singing “because you’re beautiful,” face-to-face with Rowland, could induce tears.
“Black Is King” also highlights music’s royal family: The Carters. Jay-Z makes a stunning appearance on “Mood 4 Eva,” while 8t-year-old Blue Ivy steals the spotlight every time she appears on screen. Tina Knowles as well as Sir and Rumi Carter — who the film is dedicated to — are also present.
It’s a family affair, with musical cousins — both familiar and on the verge — part of the safari ride.
“Black Parade” plays as the credits scroll at the end of “Black Is King,” and the song title could be the best way to describe the film: a procession into Beyoncé’s black liberation.
OK, now let’s get in formation.
“Black Is King,” a Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures release, is rated TV-14 by the Motion Picture Association of America. Running time: 85 minutes. Four stars out of four.
Art Fx #29: The Wilderness Collection by Stephanie Aykroyd – Huntsville Doppler
Art Fx is a year-long series on Huntsville Doppler featuring Huntsville-area visual artists.
The Wilderness Collection is a series of original oil landscapes on canvas by Stephanie Aykroyd.
“In a remote region of Ontario, Canada, is a land filled with old-growth pine, smooth granite outcrops, and clear waters. Like most wilderness areas, it is ancient and sacred,” writes Stephanie of her inspiration for this series. “The ancestors of this land left carvings in the rock, barely visible now, but their presence is strong. They travelled this land that you’re camping on and paddling through. Perhaps they sat on the same rock overlooking this lake…
“The storm has just passed and everything feels deeply still and peaceful.
“You can smell the pine and damp earth as you watch the mist drift across the far hills and light break through the clouds. A loon calls in the distance, and you smile, knowing that you belong.”
“Limitless” (left) and “In the Quietest Moments” are original oil paintings in Stephanie Aykroyd’s The Wilderness Collection
About the artist
I live with my love Alex, on 27 acres north of Toronto, Ontario in a beautiful part of the Canadian Shield.
I’m happiest in my studio or outside with my hands in the garden, searching for rocks, making pigments, portaging a canoe, or paddling the remote wilderness.
Over the years I always managed to paint, but it wasn’t a regular practice. I held back from making it my career and it was usually the first thing to be shelved when life got overwhelming. Far too often I focused on others at the expense of my own creative expression. However…
I’ve always dreamed of doing my art full-time and I’m a firm believer that when we set clear intentions & do the work, amazing things unfold!
By 2020, the need to create art became too strong and too important to ignore. Why keep putting off the very thing that feeds my soul?? This is the best decision I could have made and I haven’t looked back since!
Stephanie’s work is available for purchase at stephanieaykroyd.com.
See more local art in Doppler’s Art Fx series here.
Don’t miss out on Doppler!
Sign up here to receive our email digest with links to our most recent stories.
Local news in your inbox three times per week!
Departures at high-profile Barcelona museum provoke anger in art world – The Guardian
Oak Bay sets aside $27,000 for Indigenous art at muncipal hall – Saanich News
Oak Bay’s newly renovated chambers will feature a new piece of public art commissioned from an Indigenous artist.
The district allocated one per cent of the budget for the hall renovation, $7,000 to public art. Combined with the annual public art allocation, the district has $27,000 to spend on a work for municipal hall.
The move to work with a local artist, specifically from the Lekwungen speaking people on whose land Oak Bay sits, was unanimous among council members.
“This is a rare opportunity to have the resources to do that and as the renovated municipal hall reopens, have that be one of the centrepieces,” Coun. Andrew Appleton said during council discussions July 12.
Still in the earliest of stages, conversation surrounded the how of the project.
Oak Bay is between arts laureates, but liaison Coun. Hazel Braithwaite said the public arts committee is taking on that leadership role.
Coun. Tara Ney lamented the district’s lack of policy or set protocol for engaging in such initiatives.
She voiced a need to create pathways for engaging so it’s not done piecemeal, and instead with confidence and in culturally appropriate way.
Mayor Kevin Murdoch, who is routinely in conversation with local First Nations leadership, said the district is doing well in the absence of policy, always seeking guidance and building relationships in small ways.
Council agreed working toward something more formal is something they could pursue.
“This does require more formality and we need to start to establish those connections so we’re consistent and so we’re completely aware and sensitive to their needs,” Coun. Cairine Green said.
Do you have a story tip? Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Pakistan deeply appreciates US announcing it will send 3 million Moderna doses through COVAX: FO – Geo News
Vancouver Canucks place Jake Virtanen on waivers for purpose of buying out contract – ESPN
Researchers create 'tweezers of sound' to move objects without physical contact – CTV News
Silver investment demand jumped 12% in 2019
Europe kicks off vaccination programs | All media content | DW | 27.12.2020 – Deutsche Welle
Iran anticipates renewed protests amid social media shutdown
Sports16 hours ago
Tokyo 2020: Canada wins first medal after swimming to silver in women's 4×100 freestyle relay – CP24 Toronto's Breaking News
Tech15 hours ago
This Week in Apps: Clubhouse opens up, Twitter talks bitcoin, Snap sees record quarter – Yahoo News Canada
Media17 hours ago
Kirby Dach crashes Colton's first media session – FortSaskOnline.com
Sports23 hours ago
Tokyo Olympics: Michael Woods was milliseconds away from podium finish in thrilling road race – The Globe and Mail
Tech20 hours ago
August PlayStation Plus Games Leaked By Sony – TechRaptor
News20 hours ago
What Canada did on Saturday at the 2020 Tokyo summer Olympic games – CTV News
Real eState19 hours ago
LACKIE: As life — and T.O. real estate — gets back to normal, what's next? – Toronto Sun
Sports19 hours ago
The Edmonton Oilers select big German defender Luca Munzenberger at #90 overall – Edmonton Journal