(2016) (Stephan James, Jason Sudeikis) (PG-13)
- QUICK TAKE:
- Drama: An African-American runner of the 1930s must contend with racism in America as well as the various pressures of competing in the Nazi-controlled summer Olympics in Berlin.
- It's the 1930 and Jesse Owens (STEPHAN JAMES) is a young, African-American man who's the first in his family to attend college. He's decided on Ohio State, mainly in order to train under track coach Larry Snyder (JASON SUDEIKIS) who once had a chance of competing in the Olympics a decade earlier. Larry is demanding of Jesse, although he's initially unaware that the young man has a young daughter with Ruth (SHANICE BANTON), a beautician back home.
As Jesse trains and improves his already remarkable abilities, Avery Brundage (JEREMY IRONS) and Jeremiah Mahoney (WILLIAM HURT) are among various Olympic committee members who are debating whether America should participate in the 1936 summer Olympics in Berlin. Jeremiah argues against such participation, citing the rising power of the Nazi party and that government's treatment of Jews and others in their country, while Avery believes the Games are exactly what America needs to help climb out of the Great Depression.
Accordingly, he travels to Berlin to meet none other than Joseph Goebbels (BARNABY METSCHURAT). He's the powerful Nazi leader who's in charge of the Games that are to be filmed by Hitler's favorite filmmaker, Leni Riefenstahl (CARICE VAN HOUTEN). Avery manages to pressure Goebbels to tone down the racist rhetoric, all while being fully aware of the rampant racism back home. That's something that hasn't escaped Jesse as he must contemplate whether to compete with the likes of German runner Carl 'Luz' Long (DAVID KROSS) or not, what with nearly everyone having an opinion on the matter.
- WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
- Those intrigued by the life of Jesse Owens and his involvement in the Berlin Olympics could be interested, as might anyone who's a fan of someone in the cast.
- WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: PG-13
- For thematic elements and language.
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