Race

Docudrama | English | 135 minutes

Info
Race is a biographical sports drama about African-American athlete Jesse Owens who won what was then a record-breaking four gold medals at the 1936 Berlin Olympics. What made it so noteworthy is the Olympics took place when Hitler and his white supremacists ruled Germany.  Jesse Owens, a talented runner, attends Ohio State University where he quickly catches the eye of Larry Snyder, the track and field coach. Snyder  feels that improving Jesse’s form and techniques will enable him to compete in the upcoming 1936 Berlin Olympics. At first the NAACP urges Jesse not to attend the Olympics as it will signify acceptance of Nazi Germany’s racists policies. Jesse decides to go and prove his worth. To the shock and disdain of Hitler and his acolytes, Jesse wins four gold medals, the 100-meter dash, the broad jump, 200-meter sprint, and his final gold medal for the relay filling in for two Jewish teammates who were forced by Goebbels to drop out. Although Hitler agreed to shake hands with all the winners, he refused to do so after Jesse won each gold medal. The U.S. was not without fault: Jesse Owens couldn’t use the front door of the Waldorf-Astoria to attend a dinner held in his honor.
Cast
Stephan James (Jesse Owens) / Jason Sudeikis (Larry Snyder) / Adrian Zwicker (Adolf Hitler) / Barnaby Metschurat (Joseph Goebbels)
Why Stream This Film?
Race is not only about track and field successes at the Berlin Olympics but also about  striving for racial equality. Jesse Owens’ strength and determination helped to build the way for the start of the Civil Rights movement decades later. 
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score (Critics Consensus): 62%
  • Metacritic Score: 56
Accolades
  • 75th Venice Film Festival, Winner, Golden Lion
  • Ten Academy Award Nominations. Winner: Best Best Foreign Language Film, Best Director (Alfonso Cuarón), Best Cinematographer (Alfonso Cuarón)
  • Festivals: Venice, Telluride, Toronto, New York
  • Best Film of 2018: Time Magazine and The New York Film Critics Circle
Though the film is due out in theaters this weekend, it’ll be a couple of years before RACE fully arrives in its most natural habitat: resource-starved high school history classrooms. The film competently recounts a fairly can’t-miss historical episode–Jesse Owens’ Nazi-defying triumph at the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin.
Andrew Barker

VARIETY

RACE reminds us that long before television elevated black sports heroes into gods, there were athletes like Jesse Owens who paved the way.
Stephen Holden

The New York Times

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