Amazon Prime has this acclaimed, new film available rent free. My permanent home was in Miami on 2/25/64 when Mohammed Ali won the Heavyweight Championship of the World as he defeated Sonny Liston (See my recent memoir on Sonny called A Handshake of a Different Kind, which, takes place several months prior to the fight and recalls my fear as I shook this bear of man’s hand after his training workout). On that day in 1964, I was still in College at Emory University in Atlanta. In a sense, the film re-engaged me with my youth, its music, its cars, and, most importantly, its culture.
The three of the four key individual are invited by Malcom X to his hotel room after the fight where they dialogue. Sam Cooke (played by Leslie Odom. Jr.) brings lightness and melody to the intensity of this drama about the African American struggle in the 60s. Jim Brown (played by Aldi Hodge) is the man of soft spoken intensity Ali (played by Eli Goree) shows us his transformative activity as he declares his Muslim faith to the media after the fight. Malcolm X (played by Kingsley Ben-Adir) is the voice of anger directed at the oppressive policies under which African Americans lived out their days.
Although centered on racial problems, it is also a movie about friendship, reconciliation, exhilaration and joy. It leaves the viewer completely engaged in the dialogue between the four of them. It’s a stunning film well worth your precious time.