An Olympic athlete proves to the world that he is more than just the color of his skin. Jesse Owens must be true to his community, country, but most importantly his family and himself in this remarkable movie.
Let’s start off this Race movie review with a very obvious thing that I missed until about two days after I saw the film. The title, “Race”, stands for two thing. The first more obvious meaning is the Olympic race that Jesse Owens competes in. The slightly less obvious meaning is the racial meaning. Most of the movie revolves around whether or not the United States, and later on Jesse Owens, will compete in the 1936 German hosted Olympics. The main reason for this conflict is that Hitler and the Nazi party had been in power for almost three years at this point in time and they were starting their anti-Semitic and discriminatory practices. The United States Olympic committee did not want to send their representatives as a sign of protest of the treatment of citizens of Germany. Once they narrowly decided to send their athletes to the Olympics Jesse Owens is faced with a choice to boycott to show his solidarity for the oppressed citizens of Germany, or does he run in the race of his life.
My favorite part of this picture is the fair representation of Jesse Owens’s life, especially his relationship with his wife. For those of you that don’t know Jesse Owens had a kid out of wedlock with his high school sweetheart. In the start of the movie he shows how much he cares about his child since he is giving his future wife all the money he could spare, at times even missing his track and field practice. Later on in the movie Jesse Owens is shown letting his newfound fame go to his head, partying and dancing with another woman, which of course his future wife found out about (even without Facebook). In the end he does everything to prove to his future wife that he wanted to be with her. I honestly was not expecting a compelling, albeit simple, from a biographical sports picture. I admire this feature for idolizing Jesse in a fair light, which many “based on a true story” or biographical pieces seem to not do.
I would rate this movie 7.5/10 since it had a clear message, above average visuals, but a basic story line which is partially limited due to being very historically accurate.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ½
I would highly recommend this movie to everyone due to the historical importance, unbiased storytelling, and inspirational value. If this Race movie review still has you on the fence go check out the trailer below.