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Race

RACE tells the story of Jesse Owens, four time gold medal winner in the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin. The film details the relatively short period from Owens first encounter with his coach Larry Snyder at Ohio State University to his spectacular ...

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RACE, a biographical sports film about Jesse Owens, four time gold medalist in the 1936 Olympic games in Berlin, is solidly produced and well-cast with convincing newcomer Stephan James as the protagonist and stars like William Hurt and Jeremy Irons in supporting roles. Owen’s daughters were involved in writing the screenplay which may be the reason why Jesse Owen’s characterization is somewhat pallid. The film focuses on a relatively short time period in Owen’s life, from his first encounter with his trainer Larry Snyder (Jason Sudeikis) in Ohio State University till his victory in Berlin. The debate between Avery Brundage (Jeremy Irons), the president of the Olympic US committee at the time and an opponent of the Olympic boycott and boycott advocator Jeremiah Mahoney, the head of the amateur sports union is also explored and Brundage doesn’t come off looking good. He receives bribes from Goebbels and remains silent when he sees the reality of Nazi Germany. Mahoney, on the other hand, is depicted as being humble and filled with integrity. The functionary of the NAACP who wants to convince Owen to boycott the games is represented as a fat, arrogant man in ill-fitting clothes. The depiction of Leni Rieffenstahl (Carice van Houten) as a parallel figure to Owen is bizarre: both are doing their thing, both don’t want to be used. Aside from the filmmaker’s obvious admiration of Rieffenstahl the very contemporary moral of the film shimmers through: reaching one’s personal goals comes before everything and Owen’s triumph over the Nazi race idealogy can seem like a justification for opportunistic egoism.

Tom Dorow (INDIEKINO MAGAZIN)

Translation: Elinor Lewy

Credits

Original title: Race
Deutschland/ Kanada/ Frankreich/ Großbritannien 2016, 118 min
Genre: Biography, Drama, Sportfilm
Director: Stephen Hopkins
Author: Joe Shrapnel, Anna Waterhouse
DOP: Peter Levy
Montage: John Smith
Music: Rachel Portman
Distributor: SquareOne Entertainment / Universum Film
Cast: William Hurt, Jeremy Irons, Carice van Houten, Jason Sudeikis, Stephan James
FSK: oA
Release: 28.07.2016

Website

Screenings

Screenings

  • OV Original version
  • OmU Original with German subtitles
  • OmeU Original with English subtitles
English/with English subtitles
All languages

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