The new movie Judas and the Black Messiah It has been met with critical acclaim and Oscar buzz, and for good reason. It is a gripping and powerful movie that tells an incredible true story. LaKeith Stanfield plays William O’Neal, who was recruited by the FBI in the 1960s to infiltrate the Black Panther Party and spy on its president, Fred Hampton (Daniel Kaluuya).
The film looks at not only the highly controversial and corrupt investigation, but also Hampton’s own life as this enormously influential figure. Of course, as with any movie based on true events, some of it is factual, while other details have been modified.
10 True: The Ice Cream Arrest
The movie shows the FBI, and especially J. Edgar Hoover (Martin Sheen), obsessed with taking down Hampton by any means necessary. This includes finding any charges they may impose on you to get you off the streets. As a result, Hampton is arrested for allegedly stealing $ 71 worth of ice cream.
This was indeed a crime Hampton was charged with, and was even sentenced to several years in prison for the crime. However, while the ice cream vendor claimed that it was Hampton who stole it, several other witnesses did not place Hampton near the scene of the alleged crime.
9 Changed: O’Neal driving Hampton
After being recruited by the FBI to become an informant, O’Neal infiltrates the organization on a small level. To help you get closer to Hampton, the FBI gives you a car so you can become a Hampton driver.
In reality, O’Neal’s strong work ethic within the organization is what allowed him to to rank up. He eventually became the head of the Hampton security detail and one of its bodyguards, but was never its driver.
8 True: the young patriots
The movie does a great job of showing how Hampton is such a strong speaker that he can really make almost any group of people see the meaning of what he is saying. This is best shown in a scene where Hampton visits a gathering of a group called the Young Patriots, a group of white Southerners, and convinces them to join his Rainbow Coalition.
In fact, Hampton founded the Rainbow Coalition, and in fact he did. persuade the young patriots to accompany him on his mission.
7 Changed: the crowns
Another scene that shows Hampton’s ability to turn enemies into allies is when he visits the headquarters of a black gang known as the Crowns and meets their leader. Despite the tension the Crowns have towards the Black Panthers, Hampton is once again successful.
Hampton actually worked closely with black gangs at the time and even helped negotiate peace between several of the opposing gangs. However, the Crowns are a fictional gang and most likely they were a stand-in for some of the actual gangs at the time.
6 True: the FBI’s disinformation campaign
While meeting with the leader of the Crowns, he presents Hampton with a pamphlet that was apparently written by the Black Panthers and was very negative towards the Crowns. But it was actually the FBI that wrote it to split the alliances that were forming.
It is true that the FBI would use such disinformation tactics in an attempt to cause more trouble for the Panthers. They were also known for falsely identifying members of Black Panther as FBI informants, which is hinted at with the murder of Alex Rackley.
5 Changed: George Sams plot
At one point in the film, a Black Panther member named George Sams arrives at Chicago headquarters and goes into hiding, as he is on the run from authorities for Rackley’s murder. Sam claims that Rackley was an informant who was tortured and killed. However, it is later revealed that Sams is the actual informant and was used as a tactic for the FBI to raid headquarters.
Actually, Sams became an FBI witness and testified that Bobby Seale ordered Rackley’s murder. However, Sams only began cooperating with the FBI after he was arrested for the murder.
4 True: O’Neal pushing for more violence
When O’Neal is desperate to end his deal with the FBI, he uses a wire and tries to get Hampton to authorize a violent attack. O’Neal shows Hampton a box of explosives and suggests that they blow up City Hall, which Hampton is completely against.
According to members of Black Panther at the time, O’Neal used to be pushing for more violent acts but Hampton and the other leaders were always very opposed to these suggestions.
3 Changed: O’Neal’s Loyalty
A large part of the film explores O’Neal’s conflict with his position and his growing belief in the Black Panther Party. As his FBI handler (Jesse Plemons) tells him after seeing it as a rally, O’Neal is really starting to believe all of this.
In reality, when O’Neal spoke publicly about the matter, he showed no remorse for what he did. He also insisted that his role within the Black Panther Party was part of his job as an informant, and had no loyalty to them.
two True: The Raid
The most heartbreaking and terrifying moment in the film is the raid sequence, which leads to the murder of Fred Hampton. It’s hard to see how the law enforcement officers break into the small apartment full of Black Panther members and begin firing without provocation. After being drugged by O’Neal, Hampton is unresponsive and is shot dead by police in cold blood.
Although police initially claimed that they only responded to fire after the Black Panthers shot them, subsequent investigation showed that the The police fired about 100 shots, while the Panthers only fired once., and that’s what Mark Clark did after being shot in the heart. The surviving members also testified about the taunting words said by the police before executing Hampton.
1 Changed: ages
One of the biggest changes in the movie is arguably one that would have made the movie an even more compelling story. While Daniel Kaluuya and LaKeith Stanfield are 31 and 29, respectively, Fred Hampton and William O’Neal were 21 and 17 at the time of these events.
The fact that Hampton was able to accomplish so much and become such a powerful and influential figure could have made his character even more compelling had they cast someone younger. Likewise, the fact that O’Neal was just a talking boy makes his decisions and the FBI’s handling of him all the more shocking.
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