Like most movies for and about women, “Wrinkle” is being dismissed as not as relevant or important as one that is being marketed to the masculine cinematic gaze. “A Wrinkle in Time” is a classic science fiction fantasy novel that has graced the hands of children for decades. The new movie, directed by Ava DuVernay, places a young, Black girl as the main protagonist and fills out the cast with people of color (POC). This is a huge deal, so why is it not spoken of with the same reverence as Ryan Coogler’s “Black Panther”? The answer is sexism and misogynoir. “Black Panther” is an important film for diversity across various spectrums. It’s a blockbuster movie that features a majority Black cast with major names attached to it, the merchandising is aimed at Black children, it’s actually being advertised and supported by the studio. Its existence in the pop culture scene and what it means for representation in media cannot be understated. The same can be said for “Wrinkle”, but when support was called for in making its opening weekend just as spectacular as what is promised for “Black Panther”, many Black male “nerds” scoffed at the idea. Because to them, this film was not on the same level. Where are the memes? The think pieces? The promises to show up with your kids, family, neighbors, and everybody on opening weekend? “A Wrinkle In Time” is the newest film version of the story, there have been a few before but this one is unique because it has made the main character, Meg Murry (Storm Reid), a Black child. The first point of contention for many is that she is of mixed heritage, her father is white. Because she’s not “all Black” then that is given as a reason to dismiss the importance of this portrayal for Black and Brown girls. That is bullshit. The reason that this film is not getting the support from the culture that it should is because it’s a “girl movie,” a space in entertainment that is woefully under respected, especially when it centers on women of color, as this one does. This film is being marketed for female audiences and the first merchandise we’ve seen from it are actual Barbies. Like most movies for and about women, “Wrinkle” is being dismissed as not as relevant or important as one that is being marketed to the masculine cinematic gaze.
With the release of “A Wrinkle In Time”, young Black girls will get to see someone that looks like them be a hero. This year, a Black girl will get to save the world in the science fantasy film “A Wrinkle In Time". The movie is a landmark achievement for inclusive science fiction and fantasy (SFF) films thanks to its director Ava DuVernay, who adapted the children's book written by Madeleine L'Engle. Not only do we get a Black female protagonist played by Storm Reid, but we also get Oprah Winfrey and Mindy Kaling in prominent roles. To understand how remarkable this film is, consider the fact that it was just last year that women of color were starring in prominent SFF film franchises. In the Marvel superhero film “Thor Ragnarok”, Tessa Thompson played the warrior Valkyrie. Meanwhile, “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” features Kelly Marie Tran as Rico Tico, a member of a group of rebels called the Resistance. Although we've had women of color starring in major SFF television series such as “Star Trek” and “The Walking Dead”, they are only recently getting a major presence in SFF films. Besides last year's releases and the upcoming film “Black Panther”, it is difficult for me to recall many SFF films with a woman of color protagonist. Off the top of my head, the films I can name include “Pacific Rim”, “Moana”, and ”Advantageous”. Based on the fabulous trailers for the film, “A Wrinkle In Time” recalls the trailers for “Thor Ragnarok”, which conveys the similar feelings of an epic fantasy adventure. It is worth noting that “Thor Ragnarok” was directed by an Indigenous person, Taika Waititi. The success of Thor’s third installment shows the importance of having people of color on-screen and behind the scenes.
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