Race for the Ages

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Race is a complex, edgy movie that I recommend highly for kids in middle school or older. It follows the true story of Jesse Owens and his triumph at 1936 the Berlin, Olympics.

In his first year of college Jesse Owens (Stephan James) meets his life-long friend and coach Larry Snyder (Jason Sudeikis). After only a short time of college competition, Owens earns a place on the U.S. Olympic team and goes to the 1936 Olympics. At this time in history the Nazi Regime was on the rise to power and racism was at its core. The regime was so racist that Hitler refused to even be in the same room as Owens.

The movie is clearly a story of good versus evil, but it still portrayed the characters in surprising ways. It wasn’t the classic ‘good guys are perfect, bad guys are awful’. It shows the human side of Owens including some of the mistakes he made. And not every German was depicted as a monster. In fact, one German made a huge difference in Owens’ life.

The movie is sprinkled with comedy giving the audience some breaks from the tension and drama. The 1930’s sets, costumes, and cars added a nice touch to the realistic feel. And the action scenes of Owens sprinting down the track were well done.

This film is a little edgy, especially the racial themes, children under twelve years old might find it upsetting.
Middle schoolers and older will appreciate this film. Learning this of an iconic American hero that people should know about.