What You Need To Know:
(H, LLL, VVV, N, A, D, M, RH) Racist worldview condemning democracy & espousing communism with anarchy as means to fight oppression by U.S. government run by white race; 152 obscenities, 13 profanities (6 exclamatory), several sexual vulgarities, & innumerable racial slurs; gratuitous, bloody violence far in excess of amount needed to tell even a violent story -- numerous murders, vicious beatings, bloody bodies, many shootings, car hits small boy on bicycle, & verbal intimidation & intense confrontations; woman's skirt blown up by breeze to reveal underwear; frequent alcohol use & drunkenness; drug use & drug selling; extortion, bribery, deceit, & Mafia connections to police all portrayed; and, plan enacted by FBI to flood black community with cheap drugs to stop Black Panthers & subdue the black race.
Hoping to create “an emotional resonance that transcends color lines and sends a little power to the people,” PANTHER instead is a violent, racially inflammatory and historically dubious movie portraying all white people as racist, corrupt and stupid. Kadeem Hardison stars as a young Viet Nam veteran freshly back in his old neighborhood in mid-sixties Oakland just as Huey Newton and Bobby Seale organize a group to combat injustice, calling themselves the Black Panther Party for Self Defense. Preaching self-respect, self-rule and community involvement, the Party offered hope to a hopeless people and galvanized a generation of blacks. Sadly, what began peacefully was followed by a violent, misguided movement that forgot about family and chose instead to ride the tenets of Marx and Mao, leaving a legacy of hate and division. Within a few short years, the Party would disappear, its leaders dead or forced underground.
PANTHER falls into the trap of retelling history a la Oliver Stone’s JFK — riveting to watch, but too sensational to accept intellectually. While good direction and acting by a daring young cast nearly saves PANTHER, the gratuitous and vicious violence, heavy political message and blisteringly foul language push it over the acceptability edge for most viewers.