DVD Review: The Great Debaters

By Drum Digital
26 January 2011

Rating 4/5

Drama. 2007. 122 min. with Denzel Washington, Forest Whitaker, Denzel whitaker and Nate Parker. Directed by Denzel washington. 13vl. Finally available on DVD, Denzel Washington’s inspirational and moving directorial debut scooped the 2007 best film Golden Globe. He also stars as Melvin B Tolson, a teacher by day and an activist by night who starts a debating team.

Not only do the members challenge the racist laws of the US Deep South in the ‘30s, their lives are shaped by their newfound political conscience. The team’s Henry Lowe (Parker), Samantha Brooke (Jurnee Smollett) and James Farmer Jnr (Denzel Whitaker) battle personal difficulties against this political backdrop and all three experience an emotional comingof- age as they learn about love, loss, equality and respect.

While acclaimed actor Forest Whitaker stars as Junior’s dad, it’s his real-life son Denzel who delivers the stellar performance as a 14-year-old prodigy who gives an inspirational and highly thought-provoking speech at the movie’s climax.

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