The one about RACE!

Ok relax guys, it’s not what you think. After this post, I wouldn’t be following it up so soon with another of ‘it’s kind’. Or would I?

I’m starting something new on the blog- another list. This time a list of movies I liked or enjoyed or recommend. I love watching movies. Back in the day (undergrad), almost every weekend I was at the movies -even though I was ‘broke’ but now, not so much. These days most of my movie watching is thanks to Netflix and Redbox and now more recently, due to flights. Hello adulting!

So yes, I’m starting a movie list and I am going to begin with the movie RACE, a biographical sports drama film about African American athlete Jesse Owens, who won a record-breaking four gold medals at the 1936 Berlin Olympic Games. Thanks to my flight from Amsterdam to JFK on my return journey from my surprise weekend trip to Nigeria, I got to watch RACE for the first time.

I really wanted to see it when it came out earlier this year. I think I even got a chance to see it for free- thanks Black History Month or Martin Luther King Jr. day, I forget which. But I never got to. And somehow it never made it to my Redbox list- is it even on DVD yet? I digress… [edit: it is on DVD now]

So anyway, as you will come to know as I post more movie blog posts and add to this list, I rate how good a movie is by how much I cry. It’s never failed me. I trust my tear production calibration [engineerspeak]. Needless to say I cried a lot for this one. Not only is it about running (and you know I love running), hence the clever movie name but it is also about race, the topic most people adults don’t like to talk about.

The spirit of sportsmanship can be clearly seen here. When German Carl ‘Luz’ Long portrayed true sportsmanship and didn’t let the societal norm of racism negatively impact the sport. In fact, he used this to an advantage. Basically giving the Nazi elite the middle finger in the most beautiful way.

At a point in the movie, Jesse Owens was faced with the dilemma- do you compete in the Olympic games or do you not, thereby sending a message to the Germans and indeed the International Community that the treatment of Jews in Germany is wrong and you won’t stand for it? And by extension bringing attention to the ill treatment of your own people, black people, back home in the United States. If there was a time and place to do that, the Olympics was it.

In other words, do you seize the chance to live your dream, to further your career, to compete in the games of all games, something you’ve been working on for years, against all odds, or do you forfeit it for a cause? A cause the powers that be would rather not bring to light or acknowledge. An ‘unpopular’ cause. If you were Jesse, what would you have done? I really grappled with this question.

But most of us are not Olympians. So what kind of person will you be? Will you sit back silently and watch injustice right in front of you, from the comfort of your home? Or will you speak up? Be a friend? Help someone? Give someone a chance, a benefit of the doubt? Seek to understand? Get educated on these issues? Spread love? Pray? Volunteer? Share an article? Like an article on Facebook? Share a Facebook status on where you stand? Share this blog post? What will you do? Nothing is too little.

Think about it.

So anyway- if you like running or the Olympics or [Black] History movies or boss ladies (the lady who made the film of the Berlin Olympics 1936- film making wasn’t all that common back then- and I say this lightly) or Stephan James or Jason Sudeikis or are remotely interested in Politics or Human Rights, especially in light of current times or just really enjoy a good movie- so basically everyone, you should check it out.

But seriously, since the Olympics just got started, this may get you in the mood and pumped up, if you weren’t already.

Enjoy and let me know what you think about the movie.

Till the next movie!




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