Melina Matsoukas ‘Queen and Slim’ is a sensual, artistic masterpiece that demonstrates the harsh cause and effect of institutional racism in modern day America. It focuses on a male and female who meet in an isolated diner after agreeing to see each other on Tinder. It is revealed that the male, ‘Slim’ is a family man and has a strong faith in God and christianity. Whereas ‘Queen’ is a lawyer who lost her client to death row shortly before the meet up, and has no belief in religion or family. The two contrast each other, but when a police officer pulls a gun on Slim after a routine check up gone wrong, they begin to mirror each other as an extreme journey pulls them together for life.
The cinematography is breathtaking. Slow panned shots of beautiful locations that echo both the suffocated nature of discrimination, but also the carefree limits of freedom. The makeup, props and outfits are very aesthetically pleasing, and at times, it almost feels like a fantasy, like a dream the two are living whilst on the run from the law. What makes this film so poignant is that most of the cast are black and there’s few white actors. We really get a sense of fear from the communities that want to protect Queen and Slim, but also a harmonious, uplifting protection that comes from family and faith. It’s really refreshing to see a tale like this told in a Hollywood film, but in a way where they can mix the grittiness with artistry and creative expression.