The title “One Night in Miami” didn’t shiver my timbers but seeing that this movie was directed by exceptional actress Regina King, I was all in.
A snippet glance of the story line ties in captains of their industries: Singer Sam Cooke, Boxer Cassius Clay, Nation of Islam leader Malcolm X and running back James Brown.
This fictional account set in the mid 60’s when the African American rights movement is making another powerful and incredibly difficult attempt to equalize things here in the US. Each of the above 4 are at the top of their craft and to different degrees challenge or placate to the white world.
Frumpy fat white guys like me escape to the movies to learn about the worlds of others and hear the 24/7/365 angst of being Black in America...and then after 2 hours slip back into my pretty safe world. Conversely African Americans might go to the movies to escape their clearly difficult hand of cards for 2 hours and then fall back into their darn difficult world.
The 4 gather at a hotel in Miami Florida after Cassius Clay wins the world renown boxing heavyweight title at the age of 22. Instead of finding a huge post fight celebration, Malcolm gets them into his non-party setting hotel room for some super serious conversation. Malcolm challenged them all to be a part of the national change, to remember their heritage.
I saw this move twice (on back to back nights) to go deeper. One could tell watching that this film either was or was going to be a staged play where it would work better due to the fabulous assemblage of words, sentences and power (it was previous to the movie)
Loved that I didn’t know any of the 4 actors so my mind never drifted off to a previous role they played on the big screen. All were excellent and all going places.. Heck of a script and we got to witness all of them challenge the world in their own way and make a heck of a mark.
Must see. Powerful and not comfortable! Thank you Count Basie Center Theater in Red Bank for showing.