July 28, 2008

The Great Debaters

I saw this movie over the weekend. It is superb. I highly recommend renting this flick at your earliest convenience.

However, the only detracting aspect of the film is what -- incredibly, actually -- the World Socialist Web Site says -- that Wiley College (where the debaters attend) always ends up debating the "progressive" and/or "correct" argument. (One of these really stuck out: Denzel Washington, who plays debate team leader Melvin Tolson, informs his team that the debate is "Resolved: Captalism is Immoral. We'll be arguing in the affirmative.") Tolson is shown in the film to be a socialist, perhaps even a communist, although the latter doesn't appear to be an accurate assessment. Nevertheless, considering the story takes place during the Depression (and in the South), the present-day ... "stigma" of being labeled a socialist has to be considered in this light. But the horrors of the Jim Crow South are copiously portrayed in the story, and the climax debate between Wiley and Harvard (the national championship debate was actually against USC, not Harvard) is stupendous. James Farmer Jr.'s (played by Denzel Whittaker) final argument -- how unjust laws have to be actively protested and ignored -- can only leave you nodding your head with an accompanying "Amen!"

Posted by Hube at July 28, 2008 10:18 AM | TrackBack

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