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Mackie over-hypes Jesse Owens film

JesseOwens.jpgI wasn't really going to write about Anthony Mackie's non-update of the Jesse Owens film that we heard about way back in October of 2006, not until I read his comment about the film and what he thinks it means to get his life story on screen.

I have to agree that Owens was an important figure during the war, but I think that Mackie's comments are hyping up the man a bit too much.

The film will follow one of the most famous black athletes of all time, Jesse Owens, who ran at the 1936 Olympics in Berlin, Germany, during the reign of Nazism and Adolf Hitler. Hitler had hoped to use the games to show the world the Nazi supremacy, but Owens took four gold medals from under their noses and stood proud on the podium.

However his later life was terribly tragic and he was bankrupt and working as a petrol pump attendant (gas station attendant), racing horses for money and died of lung cancer at the age of sixty-six. That's not only tragic, but I think embarrassing for his country.

Personally I would prefer the film focussed on his rise and fall, but it seems it will focus on the rise only, from Ohio State right up to the Olympics.

Over at MTV Anthony Mackie , who is set to play the great man, said:

“He saved the world. He gave the world faith to go in and fight a war against this huge empire”

Well I don't think that's exactly true. Britain entered World War II in 1939 pushed on by the Nazi invasion of Poland. America entered World War II in 1941 after Japan attacked Pearl Harbour.

There's no doubt that Jesse Owens' victories served as a strong symbol throughout the world, but I think it's a stretch to suggest that he gave the world the faith to fight.

That aside I think this is an inspirational story that should be told, but rather than ignore the bad times in his life I think they should be remembered too.



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