Video: ‘Judas and the Black Messiah’ | Anatomy of a Scene
My name is Shak Raja. I am a co-writer, director and a producer on Judas and Black Messiah. This scene comes much earlier in the film. William O’Neill, played by Lakith Stanfield, has used a fake FBI badge to steal a car and get arrested for it. And here, he meets FBI agent Roy Mitchell, played by Jessie Plemons. So the first shot we saw earlier was of O’Neill’s feet and there was blood coming from where you didn’t know. It can be from his face. It can happen with his hands. And this is the time jump. You have not seen the attack on O’Neill. And with us, we were trying, as soon as possible, to just establish that this is a film that is not going to give you much detail. This is not to hold your hand through this experience. We want you as a viewer to fill in as many blanks as possible from your imagination. Because ideally, we believe that it puts you in the perspective of the person in the film. This scene is one of the most important scenes in the film, as it exposes an important factor that we are trying to take across the audience, which, in many ways, is about the danger of your being political. Is in We really wanted to hit home the old phrase, if you do nothing, you will fall for anything. “Were you upset when Dr. Raja was killed?” “What?” “Were you upset when Dr. Raja was killed?” ” I do not know.” We get William O’Neill to question Roy Mitchell about how he felt after the assassination of Martin Luther King. O’Neill admits that this bothered him to some extent. And then, when Mitchell asked him how he felt about Malcolm X’s murder, and O’Neill says, I never really thought about it. And you see Roy Mitchell in response to that question, smiling slightly, because he has found the person he thinks is the right messenger. In terms of how we employed close-ups, I knew we wanted to save our most extreme close-ups for O’Neill to see at the end. It’s a fascinating feeling, like, get me out of here. I will do anything to get out of here.