If the goal of ”Queen and Slim” was to get everyone talking, then mission accomplished. Ever since the film’s debut, conversations about ”Queen and Slim” have been nonstop. Whether you loved it, hated it, or haven’t seen it yet, there’s no denying the impact of the film’s success. The powerful, romantic-thriller attracted audiences over the thanksgiving holiday, bringing in over $16 million at the box office and isn’t showing signs of slowing down anytime soon.
Written by Lena Waithe, the film uses the controversial topics of racial profiling and the use of lethal force by law enforcement as a baseline to tell a story of an ill-fated first date that leaves a black couple on the run after shooting a white police officer. According to USA Today, Waithe stated, “It’s almost a battle cry for every black person we’ve lost from a (police officer’s) gun or a vigilante’s gun simply because of the fact that they’re black.” The film’s director, Melina Matsoukas, said of the film, “It’s a really true representation of racism in law enforcement… I really tried to place audiences in the perspective of being a person of color getting pulled over by an officer and not knowing if you would come out of the situation dead or alive, and what that feels like to be hunted.”
In spite of backlash over controversial statements made by both Waithe and Matsoukas, the film debuted in the box offices top 5 and proves to Hollywood that there is a significant audience for stories written from fresh perspectives by people of color.