One year after the release of the live-action version of “The Lion King” in theaters, Beyoncé released “Black is King” on Disney +. The film features his album “The Lion King: The Gift”, released in 2019. A real visual slap.
The Queen is back. Each new Beyoncé project is a real event on the musical planet. It must be said that the singer knows how to impress, whether with her visual album Lemonade or the Netflix documentary Homecoming on her performance at the Coachella festival. His latest project, Black Is King, is a 95-minute musical film available on Disney +, which accompanies the album The Lion King : The Gift, released in 2019. Beyoncé, who wrote, directed and produced this feature film, celebrates black culture through the history of Lion King. On the program: a five-star cast and a breathtaking staging.
In July 2019, Beyoncé gave her voice to Nala, in the American version of the remake of Lion King. The film was a real box office success and the singer does not hesitate to reclaim this Disney classic in Black is King. It all started with the birth of Simba, in the African desert. “Let black be the synonym of glory” (“let black be synonymous with glory“), says the singer. Black is King is the story of a young sovereign guided by his ancestors and his initiatory journey between love and betrayal.
The question of identity is at the heart of this visual album. Beyoncé pays homage to the black community and culture, but also to the travels of black families through time. “This film is a story through the centuries to educate and reconstruct our present (…) a story of how people put aside and broken up represent an extraordinary gift and a proposition for the future “, explains Disney in a statement reported by le site Just Jared. Message from Black is King is clear: it is time for the black community to reclaim a sovereignty that has been usurped for too long.
In this visual album, special attention is paid to the decorations. The film was shot in New York, South Africa, West Africa, London, Los Angeles and even Belgium. The atmospheres are mixed between minimalism and explosion of colors: the African desert, the streets of New York, a palace with white walls, an XXL residential house… Some plans resemble real paintings as they shine with beauty. As the clip of Spirit, released last summer, the aesthetic of Black is King is neat.
Alongside Beyoncé, high-level talents. Her husband Jay-Z accompanies her in the sumptuous Mood 4 Eva where a scene is reminiscent of the couple’s collaboration at the Louvre museum. Pharrell Williams and Cameroonian singer Salatiel make appearance in summer title Water. In Brown Skin Girl, Beyoncé’s daughter, Blue Ivy sings and honors dark-skinned women, skin she compares to pearls. Oscar-winning actress Lupita Nyong’o, model Naomi Campbell and singer Kelly Rowland are all in attendance.
Beyoncé does not disappoint with Black is King, both in terms of choreography and costumes. This sequence of clips, interspersed with interludes where the singer’s voice over encourages her community to take back her crown, is viewed with fluidity. She uses the lessons of Lion King ingeniously for this ode to the richness of African cultures. A topical film as the question of racism resurfaces in many countries, as Beyoncé explains in an Instagram post : “The events of 2020 made the message and the point of view of the film even more relevant, as people all around the world embark on this journey that will remain historic.” Another proof of the singer’s commitment, which is far from having lost its splendor.