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‘Queen & Slim’ Is a Cinematic Ode to Black America's Last Safe Space

The film asks you to believe that an African American couple fleeing police would have a better shot at freedom in the Deep South than in the North. Here's why.
In a scene from 'Queen & Slim,' the film's fleeing protagonists find temporary refuge in a Deep South juke joint.
In a scene from 'Queen & Slim,' the film's fleeing protagonists find temporary refuge in a Deep South juke joint.Bron Studios

This story contains spoilers for Queen & Slim.

The film Queen & Slim arrives at a moment when discussions of police violence, sanctuary, and public space are in frequent collision. On its face, this is a True Romance-like flick about star-crossed fugitives; it’s also been billed as an update of the 1967 film Bonnie and Clyde, but that comparison doesn’t stick. Bonnie and Clyde was about a couple on the run—a joyride, actually—for breaking the law; Queen and Slim is about a couple on the run because the law broke them.