2020 Blind Spot Series: Malcolm X
What I knew going in: I had seen parts of it on TV before.
Spike Lee's sprawling epic follows the legendary activist Malcolm Little (Denzel Washington) from his gangster days, his prison sentence, and his eventual rebirth in the Nation of Islam before becoming what we know him as now - Malcolm X.
I realize now why I probably never saw this all in one sitting. This movie is three and a half hours long. I must have known that at some point but when I went to start this film on Netflix it came as quite a surprise.
To tell Malcolm X's entire story, I think the length is justified. There's just so much and you really can't leave out certain parts of it if you want the big picture. I think Spike Lee did a great job of containing everything and an amazing performance by Denzel Washington helped as well.
One of the things I always want from a biopic is a teaching moment. I liked that this film gave me a better understanding of his journey. In history, especially for me growing up in a small, predominantly white town, I feel like we were wrongly given broad strokes about various points during the Civil Rights movement, and Malcolm X fell into that category.
I'm glad I finally sat down and finished this. I realized that I never saw any part of this film before he got out of prison. It was always afterwards that I'd catch it somewhere.
Memorable Quote: "I have to stand here today as what I was when I was born: a black man." - Malcolm X (Denzel Washington)