The Best of Enemies (2019)

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The Best of Enemies

So, Sam Rockwell plays another racist man who softens up and becomes more tolerant? I’m game. Rockwell and Taraji P. Henson are two super talented performers and to see them working together is a really interesting sight to me. Add to it the fact that I shamefully knew nothing about Ann Atwater and C.P. Ellis and this very interesting true story. In a month of super hero movies and highly anticipated horror films, I’m glad I went to go see a film that was thoroughly entertaining and something that kind of warms the heart.

The film is based on the true story of a civil rights activist and a Klan leader who co-chair a charrette in deciding whether desegregation would be possible in schools in Durham, North Carolina. Initially racial tensions are high and practices of influencing decision makers run rampant but the characters soon find themselves questioning whether the other side is what they seem or if there is actually common ground among whites and blacks in Durham. Importantly, the film also stars Wes Bentley with rose colored sunglasses.

The performances are typically top notch from two Academy Award winners. Their performances aren’t the only thing that’s great though. Robin Bisell’s film delves into important racial themes without ever getting really serious like other films of the sort do. Sure there is profane language directed of people of a certain skin color but overall I coudn’t help but feel a sense of fun and unity bonding the two lead characters in the film. It actually warms the heart and is a nice little thing to see.

I think the fact that C.P. Ellis and Ann Atwater where at tremendous odds with each other and then became friends who worked to unite people is absolutely incredible. For that alone this film is worth a watch. Its a bit long in the tooth but its actually never really dull. Go for it and see a very interesting and important historical story being told on the big screen. There’s so much potentially great stuff in entertainment coming out this month and this was a great start.

7/10

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