Nelson Mandela, in his first term as the South African President, initiates a unique venture to unite the apartheid-torn land: enlist the national rugby team on a mission to win the 1995 Rugby World Cup.
In 1946, Jackie Robinson is a Negro League baseball player who never takes racism lying down. Branch Rickey is a Major League team executive with a bold idea. To that end, Rickey recruits Robinson to break the unspoken color line as the first modern African American Major League player. As both anticipate, this proves a major challenge for Robinson and his family as they endure unrelenting racist hostility on and off the field, from player and fan alike. As Jackie struggles against his nature to endure such abuse without complaint, he finds allies and hope where he least expects it. Written by
Kenneth Chisholm (email@example.com)
I'm a middle-aged black man now and sometimes I wonder if young people get it.
I was born in Richmond, VA, and I'm 1 (ONE) generation removed from segregation.
It is because of this that I was FLOORED by the performance of these young actors. Chadwick Boseman & Nicole Beharie did a magnificent job portraying the grace and courage of the Robinsons.
I couldn't have done it. Boseman has an UNCANNY resemblance to Jackie, and his performance was so visceral that it proved to me that I couldn't have done it.
I wouldn't have had the courage to stand up to racism by NOT fighting back. I wouldn't have had the patience to bide my time until folks decided it was time to see me as being more than sub-human. I absolutely wouldn't have taken the risk of playing a game while people threatened my wife and child.
When Jackie finally got angry enough to smash his bat against a wall, that was the ONLY thing I could relate to - then to realize he had to go back out there because it was about MORE than just him - I was flabbergasted by his courage.
This is more than a film about baseball. The nuances like watching people in second class seating still turning out to support Robinson in full-on "Sunday church service" dress was poignant to me.
This movie ain't just about Jackie.
My mom is from New York, and she was 7 years old when Jackie joined the Dodgers. She remembers this clearly.
It's obvious why you (as I did) would take your kids to see this film as it shows what happened and how far we've come. For me, it shows what other people did FOR ME that I was incapable of doing for myself.
This film has some corny parts to it - like most films of this ilk, it sanitizes some things and does tie a nice bow on some issues glossed over in the retelling...
..that doesn't mean it's not a darned good film.
I'm pretty cynical these days. It's not often that I watch a film with a lump in my throat the whole time. I am indebted to the young actors who portrayed the people of my grandparents' generation with style, class and urgency.
I will own this film when it becomes available and that date can't come soon enough.
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