Having already disappointed moviegoers and Marvel fans alike, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is now drawing geopolitical flak from France’s Minister of Armed Forces overs its depiction of his country’s military as underhanded Vibranium thieves.
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Taking place just five minutes into the widely-panned Marvel Cinematic Universe entry, the scene which drew the ire of the recently elected Sébastien Lecornu sees Wakanda’s Queen Ramonda appear before a United Nations panel.
Following a chastising from both the ambassadors from both the United States and France regarding her nation’s continued refusal to share its Vibranium stores with the world, Queen Ramonda firmly replies to her critics by reaffirming Wakanda’s policy “to never trade vibranium under any circumstance”.
“Not because of the dangerous potential of Vibranium,” she explains. “But because of the dangerous potential of you.”
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From here, Queen Ramonda’s speech is interspersed with a flashback scene of an unidentified Western military force undertaking an illegal raid of a Wakanda mining facility. However, their efforts are quickly thwarted by a handful of Dora Milaje.
As Wakanda’s women warriors are shown putting a decisive end to the attempted theft, Queen Ramonda is shown informing the panel, “Last night there was another attack on one of our outreach facilities. Proof of the involvement of a member state is being uploaded to your mobile devices as we speak.”
While the UN members frantically rush to check their devices, the Dora Milaje appear with the now-captured thieves in tow.
Forcing them to kneel before the panel, Dora Milaje General Ayo turns to the French ambassador and, in her native tongue, tells her “You’re welcome.”
“Let our gracious response to this incursion be an olive branch,” Queen Ramonda declares as she returns the French soldiers to their nation of origin. “Further attempts on our resources will be considered an act of aggression and met with a much steeper response.”
Taking notice of French journalist Jean Bexon’s February 11th sharing of the scene on Twitter, Lecornu retweeted the clip and declared, “I strongly condemn this misleading and false representation of our Armed Forces.“
Clearly unhappy with the film’s implication that France does not care for African nations, the Minister added, “I think and pay tribute to the 58 French soldiers who died defending Mali at its request against Islamist terrorist groups.”
Reached for comment  on Lecornu’s assertion by the AFP news agency, the French Defense Ministry explained that though they were not calling for censorship of the work, “no revisionism can be allowed about France’s recent actions in Mali: we intervened at the county’s own request to fight armed terrorist groups, far from the story told in the film, namely a French army coming to pillage natural resources.”
As of writing, neither Marvel nor Disney have publicly responded to Lerconu’s condemnation.
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