DVD: The great debaters

By admin
28 January 2011


2007. 122 min.

With Denzel Washington, Forest Whitaker, Denzel Whitaker and Nate Parker.

Directed by Denzel Washington.


Rating: 4/5

Finally available on DVD, Denzel Washington’s inspirational and moving debut as director scooped a well-deserved Golden Globe for best picture in 2007.

Washington plays Melvin B Tolson, a teacher by day and activist by night who starts a debating team. The members challenge the racist laws of the US Deep South in the ’30s and their lives are shaped by their new-found political consciousness.

The team’s Henry Lowe (Parker), Samantha Brooke (Jurnee Smollett) and James Farmer Junior (Denzel Whitaker) battle personal difficulties against this political backdrop and experience an emotional coming-of-age as they learn about love, loss, equality and respect.

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

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