Lamont Jack Pearley
Along with the Blues, a great Book, History and Family time, I am a huge film fanatic. And nothing is better for me than a great film based on African American life and culture that also has Blues all in it that I can watch over and over with my family. ANd the one film I wish to encourage you to watch is “The Great Debaters“.
This very good film, that stars a slew of great African American Actors such as, Denzel Washington, Forest Whitaker, Kimberly Elise , Jurnee Smollet Bell, Nate Parker and Denzel Whitaker is A drama based on the true story of Melvin B. Tolson, Poet and professor (Denzel Washington) who teaches at the predominately black Wiley College in 1935 Texas. He decides to start a debate team, something nearly unheard of at a black college. While at first he butts heads with the influential father (Forest Whitaker) of one of his best debators, eventually he is able to form a team of strong-minded, intelligent young students, and they become the first black debate team to challenge Harvard’s prestigious debate champions.
Now that’s just plain ol groovy. But what’s more, being the movie takes place in the 1930’s, in the south, we get to see ol jukes and liquor houses that had blues musicians and singers give authenticity to the film and time. Along with the setting and wardrobe. The Blues Musician was Alvin Youngblood Hart, and the singer was Sharon Jones..who happen to be two of my favorites.
Even during the montages, they played some down home Blues. My family and I watch this film about every three months since it’s been available on DVD and we own it. Check it out.