'Black Panther': All hail the badass women of Wakanda

01 February 2018 - 13:47 By AFP Relaxnews
Danai Gurira at the world premiere of 'Black Panther'.
Danai Gurira at the world premiere of 'Black Panther'.
Image: Valerie Macon / AFP

Critical and celebrity reactions to Black Panther after Monday's world premiere have been as good as could be expected, with reviewers hailing the movie as "iconic" and "astonishing".

One aspect that director Ryan Coogler and the producers of the movie have garnered particular praise for, is their decision to feature a clique of powerful female characters - dubbed 'the badass women of Wakanda' front and center.

"I was so pleased that this story ... supported that," said Angela Bassett, who plays the lead character King T'Challa a.k.a. Black Panther's mother, Ramonda.

Speaking at a news conference, along with the rest of the cast, the morning after Monday's glittering Hollywood premiere, she said: "In African culture, they feel as if there is no king without a queen and this story ... it highlights the queen, the warrior, the general and the young sister.

"I was so proud to have my daughter and son [at the premiere] last night, because in their faces, in their spirit, they were feeling themselves. They stood taller after last night."

Danai Gurira (The Walking Dead) spoke of her trepidation over having her head shaved to play Okoye, the head of Wakanda's Dora Milaje special forces. However, she embraced the idea once she saw it as being "subversive in the right way".

"It took a few days ... then the pride started to grow. There's pride around it, and the embracing of this symbol of power and these women."

Catch 'Black Panther' in cinemas from February 16