Washington refers to the “double victory,” also known as the Double V campaign, which saw black soldiers fighting for democracy overseas during World War II while simultaneously fighting for equality on the home front. The campaign takes its name from the “V for Victory” gesture that became a rallying cry for freedom during the war.

“Amsterdam” is set in the years before the war, and in the trailer for the film, we see a flashback where the aforementioned Washington character, Harold, shakes hands with Christian Bale’s one-eyed doctor, Burt Berendsen, on the battlefield during World War I. “You don’t get here without things starting a long time ago,” Burt says, perhaps alluding to larger thematic concerns about the modern state of the United States and how history has brought them here. . ‘Amsterdam’ reunites Russell and Bale after their previous collaborations on ‘American Hustle’ and ‘The Fighter’, the latter of which won Bale the Best Supporting Actor Oscar.

The trailer notably begins with a “dead white man” in a rolling pine box, with Chris Rock’s character Milton King not far behind. “Who do you think is going to get in trouble here?” he pointedly asks Harold. There also comes a point where Burt says in his voiceover, “We’ve sworn to protect ourselves no matter what.” Yet we see him and Margot Robbie’s nurse Valerie Voze both giving a sly look as they share a group hug with Harold. There are other clues to a larger conspiracy that “altered the course of American history”, and which may involve black history, which some would say is synonymous with American history.

You can see how that and Washington’s search pans out when “Amsterdam” hits theaters exclusively on October 7, 2022.