Movie Review: Queen & Slim by Tamice Spencer
“Psalm 139: when the psalmist talks about, “I made my bed in the depths.” It’s not like, I dipped my toe in there. The writer means it, I have made my bed in the depths and even there you are with me. So there’s this sense of the presence of God in this culture that has always been deemed so anti-God and yet these men and women talk about God all the time. There’s an incredible awareness in the black community of the presence of God even within un-Godly circumstances and scenarios. Beloved, Even if we make our bed in the depths, God is there!"-Heaven For A G? CCDA Conference 2019
Queen and Slim are haunted by two things, whiteness, and God.
In the film, it’s hard to tell which pursuit is the most troubling.
First, a synopsis.
After meeting up for dinner on their first date, a young couple is continuing their evening when a policeman pulls them over in the middle of the night for a minor traffic infraction. Despite the low severity level of their situation, the cop becomes aggressive and threatening as he points his gun at the pair. That's when, in self-defense, Kaluuya's character takes the gun and fatally shoots the officer in self-defense. The two flee the scene and go on the run, setting out on a cross-country road trip—and falling in love in the process. But despite their fugitive status, a clip of the killing goes viral, amplifying their faces across the country.
Queen and Slim, meet all sort of people on their journey to freedom, a wide-eyed and traumatized, young boy, a down and out mechanic, a pimp with PTSD, a black cop who surprises them, a room full of jazz freaks who offer them sabbath, and a white couple who are atypical. In each car and or home they entered there is allusion being made to the existential questions about God and while there is no explicit dialogue it’s very clear from the moment we get a glimpse of Slim’s license plate that the rest of the film may attempt to echo the words: TRUST GOD. It becomes clear that that process begins on an interpersonal level.
The film is rich and beautifully shot, the actors do an incredible job. They are not naive about their fate and this is what propels them to run. You see the generations of black people with varying perspectives and roles in the film coming together to see if Queen and Slim will make it. In a sense, you get the feeling that they want to go too. You get the sense they wonder if they themselves will make it.
In the end, it seems like the greed that birthed the whiteness intent on killing love is triumphant.
I beg to differ. The lovers have learned to love, their initial friction between the personalities has become a depth and a passion.
They find in one another truth and light and in this way they touch the divine, giving the ultimate victory to a God who chases us until we are free.