An Important Story of how Magic turned a Tragedy into an Opportunity
The Announcement was well-received in its World Premiere at Austin's SXSW Film Festival. In many ways, The Announcement follows the typical path of a sports documentary as it tells of the athlete's journey from tragedy to triumph. The difference is that the story of Magic Johnson is one that goes way beyond winning a sports championship. Magic was able to take his own personal tragedy and use it as a teachable moment to begin to challenge many of the societal myths around HIV/AIDS. While the film borders hagiography, it may be the rare case where an athlete deserves such uncritical praise. The film is personalized as somewhat autobiographical since Magic himself narrates his story. The film personalizes the struggle against both AIDS and the prejudices against the victims of AIDS. In some ways the most remarkable aspect of the story is how the film's topic which was once highly controversial has become relatively non-controversial. The film is a valuable one in that will provide an opportunity to educate Americans, and particularly young people, about the history and the realities of AIDS. The film is well-made and edited and should be praised for its positive social contributions. Magic Johnson should be praised for his activism which has made him a figure whose impact goes well beyond sports.
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