RACE (2016) – My rating: 9/10

RaceWell done Stephen Hopkins, Stephan James and Jason Sudeikis.  A horrible situation exquisitely acted and well told.  Race issues certainly fits right in to today’s on going battles of racism, hatred and bigotry.  Makes me think we’ve learned nothing in the last 80 years.  It was quite interesting watching the bigotry of the Nazi regime vs the bigotry of the USA.  In the end, money and power prevailed.  The same as today.  There are many, many lessons to be learned from a movie like Race but I fear we’ll learn what we always learn and so the beat goes on the same as it always has.  There in the 1930’s we have a man, deemed as the fastest human alive, who could escalate the US to new heights in the Olympic games and we have people on both sides hating the fact that “the man” is Black.  It doesn’t matter the accolades we (the US) are about to achieve, only that “the man” is Black.  Against all odds, we put him in the race but the country holding the games is worse than we are.  They hate Blacks but even more than Blacks, they hate Jews.  Having to sit through this racism made me sick and angry.  It made me want to jump into the screen and strangle those responsible for stirring up this bigotry.  The whole thing is just so senseless and stupid.  People fighting because they were born Black or Jewish.  How dumb is that and what a waste of time.  What is one suppose to do about who they are, as if there’s something wrong with who they are?  Jesse Owens should have been able to concentrate on nothing else but winning but instead had to deal with both this own country and the country where the races were being held discriminating against him.  After all was said and done, he couldn’t even get a job to support his family.  Here is a man who represented his country in the 1936 Olympics and won 4 gold metals but couldn’t get a job because of his skin color.  Then you’re criticized for being a lazy non-working bum.  This is a bitter pill to swallow.  Race really brought out how screwed up the society is and how willing we are to sweep it all under the rug.  A dinner was held in Jesse’s honor but he couldn’t go in through the front of the hotel where the dinner was being held.  He had to use the service entrance.  It’s very hard to sit through movies that cause us to relive this part of history, especially when it’s still happening.  I commend Jesse Owens for his abilities, achievements and for holding it together when most would have lost it.  Watching Jesse Owen’s struggles from the onset of  his career as an Olympian to his bitter sweet victory when a doorman wouldn’t allow him to come in the front entrance of a hotel where he was being honored was a reminder that there’s much work to be done.  Freedom begins in your heart.

Strongly acted movie with loads of historic information surrounding the 1936 Olympics and Berlin where the games were held.  The relationship between Jesse and his coach was extraordinary and the issues between the team and Jesse Owens was also very interesting.  “Race” is a movie worth seeing.  Performances by Jeremy Irons as Avery Brundage whose actions cost the only Jewish candidates their participation in the games and Barnaby Metschurat as the German Chancellor, Joseph Goebbels who said “do you expect Hitler to be photographed shaking hands with that” (that meaning Jesse Owens) were outstanding.

 

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