mandag 30. januar 2012

"The Great Debaters"

Film Cover 
Today in class we watched "The Great Debaters" directed by Denzel Washington. It is inspired by the true story of Melvin B. Tolson, a professor at Wiley College Texas. The film follows Tolson's three inspiring students and debaters, Henry Lowe, Samantha Booke and James L. Farmer Jr. They have all gained a spot on Tolson's debate team, and are considered very lucky and talented to be included. At the time there weren't equal rights between white and Negros, so the two colors weren't allowed to debate each other. However, that was about to change this year. In 1935-36, Tolson's debate team fought a nearly-undefeated season which resulted in the first debate competition between students from white and Negro colleges.

One thing that was quite obvious in the film was the differences between white and Negros. Another thing that I noticed, was the elder "wise" men's dominant role in the society. One in particular was the relationship between the debater James L. Farmer Jr. and his father, James L. Farmer Sr. He spoke to his son like a teacher would talk to his student, if not even stricter, and referred to him as "Junior" instead of his real name. I got the feeling that Mr. Farmer wanted his son to be just like him, successful and intelligent. However, this relationship develops throughout the film when Mr. Farmer realize that his son is quite a remarkable boy, and eventually begins to treat him like he should.
James L. Farmer Jr.

The debate team's  hard work and their countless victories led to an invitation to face Harvard University's national champions. After a cut-throat debate, Tolson's debate team conquers Harvard's champions. Although this was a great milestone, I must say I liked the one that happened some time before was more touching. When "Junior" was leaving to debate, James L. Farmer Sr. hugged his son good bye and for the first time he called his son James, his real name. I think that this shows how proud Mr. Farmer actually was, and the look on his son's face was so touching.  

1 kommentar:

  1. That was a great observation. When I think about it you are right! It was a touching moment. It is a movie about debating, the Afro Americans rights but also the relationship between father and son, teacher and students and between friends.