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Ken Cocker
Ken Cocker
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Oscars 2021 Best Picture spotlight: ‘Judas and the Black Messiah’


Judas and the Black Messiah is in the running for the Best Picture Oscar this weekend. The film tells the real-life story of Fred Hampton, the deputy chairman of the Illinois chapter of the Black Panther party.

Set in the late 1960s, the film follows Hampton, played by Daniel Kaluuya, as he’s betrayed by William O’Neal, an FBI informant played by Lakeith Stanfield.

Co-written and directed by Shaka King, the film has the blessing of Hampton’s widow and her son, Fred Hampton Jr.

Both Kaluuya and Stanfield received Best Supporting Actor nods for the film. Stanfield told People that playing the role of O’Neal took such a toll on him that he went to therapy afterwards.

The historical drama is nominated for five Academy Awards total. It made history by becoming the first Best Picture nominee made by all Black producers.

The film is out now on video on demand.

Tune in to the 93rd Oscars Sunday, April 25, live on ABC at 8 p.m. ET.

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