Queen & Slim

by Melina Matsoukas
08.11.20 – 18.11.20

After their first date in Ohio, a Black man and a Black woman are stopped due to a minor traffic violation. The situation escalates, and the man kills a police officer in self-defense. The incident is filmed and goes viral, and without knowing it the couple becomes a symbol of trauma, fear, grief, and pain for people all over the United States. A visually powerful, political road movie.

The screening on Sunday, November 15 is free of charge for members of Kunstnernes Hus. Send an e-mail to post@kunstnerneshus.no in order to register.

Queen & Slim is presented in collaboration with Cinemateket i Oslo and Vega Scene.

Sunday 08.11.20
Sunday 15.11.20
Wednesday 18.11.20

About the film

A woman and a man meet on a Tinder date. She is a lawyer, he works in a store. The atmosphere and connection between them is just right. On the way home in the car, the couple is stopped by the police. The situation suddenly escalates. Shots are fired - she is shot, and he shoots the policeman. In a state of shock, the two escape. We follow them on their flight south from Ohio - an escape that forces them to get to know each other and themselves. At the same time, the film is a journey through parts of African American history and the United States. On their journey, Queen and Slim meet a number of people, who represent different aspects of African American culture and the complex spectrum of the country's population.

The premise of Queen & Slim is the systematic injustice - the filmmakers themselves call it the trauma - that the African-American population of the United States has been exposed to for generations. Today, in the wake of the murder of George Floyd and the massive reactions it triggered, Queen & Slim will probably resonate even stronger, because many have gained a new understanding of the problem. For screenwriter Lena Waithe, the project was sacred (she calls it protest art), and she and director Melina Matsoukas demanded full control over the production, refusing the film to be test-screened for a white middle-class audience. But it was also important for them to draw a balanced picture as the couple meets a number of people on their way - the only thing they have in common being that they are different.

About the filmmaker

Melina Matsoukas (b. 1981) had worked as a music video director for ten years, making videos for artists such as Beyoncé, Rihanna and Lady Gaga before she was brought in to Queen & Slim. Matsoukas tells stories with a raw elegance, and uses colours and light to emphasize, create scenes and tableaux that are both concrete and symbolic. Queen & Slim is her first feature film.

Queen & Slim
Melina Matsoukas
USA, Canada
2h 12 min