By Pam - AVJuly 1, 2016
Race recounts the true story of legendary athlete Jesse Owens’ journey to the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin. While there, he won four Olympic Gold medals and broke several world records. The film begins with Jesse (Stephan James) leaving Cleveland, Ohio to attend college at Ohio State University. There he meets Coach Larry Snyder (Jason Sudeikis). After a rather intense first conversation, Jesse and Coach Snyder get on with the business of training Jesse to be the best athlete that he can be—the Buckeye Bullet, the fastest man in the world. Jesse almost did not attend the 1936 Olympics. Because of the Nazis’ treatment of the Jews & non-Aryan races, there was a question whether or not the United States would even send athletes to Berlin. In the end the American Olympic Committee voted by a narrow margin to attend the games in Berlin. Then a representative from the N.A.A.C.P. met with Jesse and his family trying to dissuade him from attending the Games. The conversation between the man from the N.A.A.C.P and Jesse is one of my favorite parts of the film. Jesse asked the man from the N.A.A.C. P. if he was a runner. The man answers, "Not competitively." Jesse replies, “Out there, there ain’t no black and white, there’s only fast and slow. Nothing matters, not color, not money, not even hate. For those 10 seconds you are completely free.” Race portrays what life was like in the 1930’s for blacks. It is a celebration of determination and perseverance. If you are looking for an inspiring, feel-good movie, I would suggest watching Race.
Overall Rating: B++