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Black Panther Editor Pushed for a Reshoot to Honor Strong Female Characters

Debbie Berman, co-editor of the world-famous Black Panther film, sat down with Cinemablend last week to explain the reason behind the film’s costly re-shoot.

“One of the things that caught my attention was right at the end of the film, is where the Dora Milaje are surrounded by the Border Tribe,” said Berman – referring to a scene where the all-women group of bodyguards find themselves surrounded and seemingly defeated.

“In the original construction of the film, they were saved by the Jabari Warriors but all those warriors were male,” continued Berman. “So, I said to Ryan [Coogler], having these amazing women saved by the men right at the end of the film undercuts so much of the work we’ve done and building them up throughout the entire feature. Is there any way to not do that?”

According to Berman, Marvel schedules additional shooting into their schedule from the beginning, “because they realize that once it’s translated from script into images, you’re still discovering the story.”

“This was something that was very important to me. And Ryan came up with the brilliant idea to change some of the Jabari Warriors to females. So they were no longer saved by men at the end just by Jabari men,” said Berman.

Berman was already responsible for editing almost 500 hours of film, but she knew it was important to push for this change and encourage further shooting.

The reshoot required creating a female Jabari Warrior character, designing their costume, and then returning to the set for the reshoot.

“And we went and shot some old footage of that and the very first person to break through and save the Dora Milaje is this amazing fierce Jabari female character. It might just be a small moment in the film, but for me as a woman and what it meant to the story of the film and the story of the woman of the film was very important,” said Berman.

It’s clear that we need more badass women like Berman in the film industry to ensure that women are represented equally in number and strength to male characters.

Currently, Berman is editing the upcoming film, Captain Marvel, which tells the story of one of the most powerful woman superheroes yet to be seen on the big screen.

Featured Image by Gage Skidmore on Flickr
Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.0)

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