Seberg – Film Review

Based on actual events, Seberg is a political thriller set in the late 60s that tells the story of a young actress who wants to make a difference in the world, becoming involved with a Black Panther activist which causes her to get the attention of the FBI.

Jean Seberg (Kristen Stewart) always wanted to be an actress, but after achieving her dream she becomes more concerned about the state of the world around her and after a chance meeting with a Black Panther activist, Hakim Jamal (Anthony Mackie). Despite them both being married they two start a relationship. But because of her association with Hakim Jamal, Jean becomes the target of the FBI who are trying to uncover any dirt that they can, tarnishing her image through the FBI’s surveillance program called COINTELPRO (Counter Intelligence Program), which was created to discredit activists. This causes Jean to go on a downward spiral as she becomes paranoid, doesn’t know who to trust, concerned that she is being watched or listened to, which causes her mental health to deteriorate.

Seberg is a film that deals with a variety difficult subjects such as the treatment of African-Americans and the techniques that the FBI were doing to tarnish the images of any activist in America. While the film can be quite uncomfortable to watch, what made me feel the most uncomfortable was watching Jean’s life fall apart and this is in part due to Kristen Stewart‘s excellent portrayal of Jean Seberg.

Stewart is able to make you believe that she is having a nervous breakdown and this showcased very well in a scene where she is tearing the house apart trying to find out if her house has been wired. This scene shows her at her lowest. I also enjoyed the scenes of Kristen Stewart portraying Jean Seberg as an actor in some of the films Seberg starred in. In my opinion, this is the best acting performance that I have seen from Kristen Stewart.

I would have liked to have seen a lot more of Anthony Mackie as Hakim Jamal. He did an amazing job with his character and this shown during his first scene where he meets Jean Seberg on a plane, appearing fired up and full of energy.

Seberg had its world premiere at the Venice Film Festival and was also screened at the Toronto Film Festival in 2019 before being released worldwide in 2020.Seberg opens in Australian Cinemas on the 30th of January.

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