‘Shirley’ trailer: Regina King plays the fearless and fierce Shirley Chisholm


In a powerful homage to an iconic figure in American politics, Netflix has just unveiled the trailer for its upcoming film “SHIRLEY.” The magnetic Regina King slips into the role of Shirley Chisholm, the trailblazing first Black congresswoman. The highly anticipated film is set to immortalize Chisholm’s groundbreaking 1972 presidential campaign, marking it as a historical cinematic event premiering on March 22.

Chisholm’s attempt to become the first Black candidate for a major party’s presidential nomination and the first woman to vie for the Democratic Party’s ticket is placed center stage in this gripping narrative. Helmed by director John Ridley, the film promises to be an engrossing biographical drama charting the once uncharted territory that Chisholm ventured into during that momentous election cycle.

The distinguished cast of “SHIRLEY” features the talents of Lucas Hedges, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Christina Jackson, Dorian Crossmond Missick, Amirah Vann, Andre Holland, and Terrence Howard. The film also stands as one of the final screen appearances of the venerable Lance Reddick, whose career has left an indelible mark on the industry.

The first glimpse provided by the recently released trailer thrusts audiences into the heart of Chisholm’s audacious bid for the presidency. She steps into the political arena, clear-eyed and resolved, surrounded by supporters and determined to leave an indelible impact for individuals who share her heritage. Yet, it also doesn’t shy away from the harsh reality of her struggle, the institutional roadblocks and the personal attacks she faced from those who deemed her unfit to lead.

“SHIRLEY” aims to do more than recount the events of the past; it seeks to encapsulate the essence of who Shirley Chisholm was—not just a politician, but a visionary, a fighter, and a symbol of hope for generations to come. Her advocacy for minorities and women, and her challenge of the status quo in a deeply divided America, remains as relevant as ever.

Her presidential campaign was more than groundbreaking—it was a profound statement about equality, representation, and the American dream. Chisholm’s relentless campaign slogan, “Unbought and Unbossed,” becomes the rallying cry of the film, encapsulating the spirit with which she pursued the highest office in the land. She navigated the rough seas of politics with unwavering conviction, often standing alone against a tide of opposition.

Through “SHIRLEY,” audiences are given a closer look at the internal workings of Chisholm’s campaign and the personal toll it took on her. It delves into the complex interactions and shifting dynamics within her campaign team, the alliances she forged, and the betrayals she endured. The film doesn’t only preserve her legacy; it actively participates in the ongoing discourse about the role of women and minorities in leadership positions.

As the world continues to grapple with issues of racial and gender equity, “SHIRLEY” could not have arrived at a more opportune time. It is a poignant reminder of the courageous individuals who have defied norms and battled against systemic barriers, reminding us all of the progress yet to be achieved and the paths still left to be blazed.

To contextualize the cultural relevance of “SHIRLEY,” one might recall the recent discussions around another expected motion picture return—Michael Keaton’s “Beetlejuice” sequel. It underscores the diversity in storytelling that cinema is embracing, from the fantastical to the historically significant.

“SHIRLEY” packs emotional depth, a stellar performance from Regina King, and an important historical perspective. As the film unfolds, audiences will be invited to witness and celebrate the story of a woman who dared to envisage a world where someone “like her” could aspire to and rightfully earn the highest office in the United States of America.

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