Wednesday, December 26, 2007
The Great Debators: The Best film of 2007
If Denzel Washington doesn't get nominated for an Oscar after "The Great Debaters", then I will officially become a conspiracy theorist. Those who run to nominate him for awards when he plays a gangster, drug dealer or thug should run just as fast to nominate him when he plays the role of a great black visionary and activist professor. If only all professors had the same guts as Washington.
"The Great Debaters" is another installment in a long line of hit or miss inspirational films made by Harpo Productions, owned by the woman on everyone's refrigerator door. This one hits the mark and strikes it hard, explaining the roots of American racism and inequality, along with the incentives for perseverance and education.
The film features the amazing debate team at Wiley College, an Historically black college in Texas. The team goes through a series of ups and downs, facing racism, heartache and intellectual challenge in order to become one of the greatest debate teams in American history. The film culminates with the team debating Harvard University head to head and whipping them on national radio.
The film was good, damn good. It was also a reminder that Historically black colleges can and are among the very best institutions in the nation. I give it as many thumbs up as I can muster, and I would even give it a toe up if my leg could reach that high.
This film is, without question, the best film of 2007. Just call it the Lord of the Rings for Black folks.