Tom Ratcliffe and Becky Paige’s doc focuses on the Black athletes whose silent protest rocked the Olympics in 1968.
An iconic image of protest gets its backstory explored in The Stand, Tom Ratcliffe and Becky Paige’s look at two Black Olympians who raised their fists and bowed their heads at the 1968 Mexico City games. Reminding viewers that Colin Kaepernick was far from the first athlete to be told he should keep his principles off the field, the straightforward but welcome doc doesn’t need to spell out how many of its protagonists’ concerns remain pressing today.
Many viewers will be unaware that Tommie Smith and John Carlos, the track-and-field medalists who raised their fists after receiving medals, had considered more dramatic forms of protest: Some Black athletes had proposed boycotting the Olympic games entirely, or had considered going and, should they win events, refusing to accept medals on behalf of a country that had treated them so poorly.
The filmmakers might’ve provided us with more of the specific complaints these men had; instead, their assessment of “The Struggle” relies on very familiar images of police brutality and general observations about how much remained unfixed after the Civil Rights movement’s legal successes. Athletes including Ralph Boston and Mel Pender recall their childhoods in ways that would be appropriate for any doc about race in America; only occasionally does the film get concrete about how athletes experienced discrimination.
Then we meet Harry Edwards, organizer of the Olympic Project for Human Rights. In vintage newsreel footage, Edwards is an impressive spokesman: Framed in closeup as he wears dark sunglasses indoors, he calmly asserts athletes’ right to use their prominence to speak the truth without punishment. (One of the OPHR’s key complaints, not cited here, was that Muhammad Ali had been stripped of his heavyweight title because of his opposition to war in Vietnam.)
Most relevant to this film’s narrative is the objection athletes had to Avery Brundage, the president of the International Olympic Committee. As the film tells it, Brundage objected to anything a Black athlete might do to publicly convey support of a social cause. (Interviewees pointedly observe that Brundage had fought to keep the U.S. from boycotting the 1936 Summer Games in Berlin, and had made no objection to the Nazi salutes seen there.)
As OPHR members publicly discussed the possibility of boycotting the 1968 games, they drew support from some unexpected places. The filmmakers devote a sizable chunk of their time to the story of a rowing crew at Harvard whose all-white members wanted to help: They met with Edwards to ask what they could do; interviewed today, Edwards recalls “the fundamental role that they played in this movement.”
The doc finds some old-fashioned sports-movie drama in the races leading up to that famous award ceremony: Smith injured his groin in the semifinals and could hardly expect to be competitive in the final race. Speaking at length to Ratcliffe and Paige (John Carlos’ interviews were conducted by other filmmakers years ago), he gives a beat-by-beat account of how he held his body together long enough to finish first.
If that sequence has a touch of mythmaking to it, the explanation of what followed is more modest. Though Smith had taken certain steps to prepare for a public gesture (he’d asked his wife to bring him a pair of black gloves from home; he and Carlos wore other symbolic items onto the field), he insists he didn’t know exactly what he would do until the moment he did it. He also says his raised fist was “not a black power sign — not at all,” but instead signified “solidarity and strength” with a broader human-rights cause.
Such subtleties were lost on many in the media and the public. Carlos and Smith paid a price for their gesture, starting with the boos as they walked off the field. But in the half-century since, generations have recognized the moral courage in what they did. And only the willfully ignorant fail to grasp that publicly expressing one’s concerns about the state of his country is a very different thing from being unpatriotic.
Production company: Kimbia
Distributor: 1091 (Available Tuesday, August 4, on digital and on-demand)
Directors: Tom Ratcliffe, Becky Paige
Producers: Tom Ratcliffe, Michael King
Executive producers: Selena Roberts
Director of photography: Editor: Becky Paige
Danny Masterson makes first court appearance since June in LA
Danny Masterson, center, stands with his attorneys, Thomas Mesereau, right, and Sharon Appelbaum, left
Danny Masterson made his first appearance in a Los Angeles courtroom Friday since being released on bail from rape charges in June.
The “That ’70s Show” actor, 44, was accompanied by his lawyer, Tom Mersereau, and joined by supporters, E! reports. Actress Leah Remini, who has been a vocal critic of Masterson and the Church of Scientology — of which he is a follower — was also in attendance at the hearing. Three women have accused Masterson of raping them at his Hollywood Hills home between 2001 and 2003.
Mesereau argued that LA District Attorney Jackie Lacey caved to media pressure to bring the three counts of rape by force or fear against Masterson, which Deputy District Attorney Reinhold Mueller shot down as “pure speculation.” Lacey is up for re-election in November.
Mesereau filed paperwork requesting that the charges against Masterson be dropped, which will be decided during Masterson’s next court appearance on Oct. 19.
Masterson and the Church are also facing a civil suit from the three accusers — plus a fourth woman — accusing them of conducting a campaign of harassment against the women who came forward. “It was part of the pressure campaign to force them into silence,” one of the attorneys in the civil suit, Stewart Ryan, said.
Branded ContentFalling For Fall: Make a statement this season with a bold mani
This season, the biggest color trends in fashion encourage unique self-expression with rich, deep burgundy hues and soft, earthy neutrals, along with unexpected pops of orange. And, while most of us have the neutrals covered, not everyone has the confidence to rock a bright orange sweater. But, a splash of bold color on your nails? Now that’s something just about everyone can pull off. We love this statement-making look that’s super easy to create at home and will take your nails to the next level.
Get The Look:
For a flawless manicure start with a layer of Base Coat. It acts like double sided sticky tape anchoring polish to your nails.
Apply two coats of polish to each nail, be sure to cap the free edge by swiping across the tip of each nail. This helps prevent chipping. Let each layer dry.
Apply a thin layer of top-coat. Then using the pointed side of the nail tool, apply a small drop of top coat to the base of a nail, while still wet, use a tweezer to embed each gold square into the top coat drop — we love the Japonesque pointed tweezer from the Pro Performance Tweezer Duo for this job.
For a more subtle fall look, try a Fall French manicure with a rich burgundy color.
A great manicure starts with great tools. And these tools from Japonesque are everything you need to get this look:
Nail Perfecting Trio
While the iridescent sparkle caught our attention, the super sharp clipper blades sold us. Neatly trims nails to any shape with precision. And the mini salon board is prefect for smoothing each nail to perfection
Velvet Touch nail tools
Pushed back clean cuticles are the secret to a long lasting mani. This versatile tool does the job leaving a clean smooth nail surface ready for polish. And if you slip a little while painting your nails, dip the pointed side into acetone to easily and accurately remove polish from skin.
Japonesque nail tools available at Walmart and Walmart.com. Visit Japonesque on Instagram for more inspiration and expert advice on the tools to reach your beauty goals.
Meghan Markle Drops Royal Title: I’m Not a Duchess Anymore!
Think of this as the royal equivalent of “you can’t fire me, I quit!”
When Meghan Markle and Prince Harry first stepped down from their roles as senior members of the royal family, there was much debate over whether the couple should be stripped of their royal titles.
But now, it looks as though the former Duke and Duchess of Sussex have decided to put a stop to the controversy by dropping the titles on their own!
Time Magazine’s list of the 100 most influential people of 2020 will be revealed during an hour-long ABC special next week.
The fact that the list is being unveiled in prime time on network TV probably has more to do with the quarantine content drought than any real public interest in the names on the list, but we digress.
The reason we mention this is that the promos for the special refer to Harry and Meghan simply as “Harry and Meghan.”
Now, that might not seem like a very big deal, but you have to understand how seriously the Brits take their royal titles.
Prior to this week, it would have been considered a major sign of disrespect to refer to the Duke and Duchess of Sussex as anything other than the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.
Going public as simply “Harry and Meghan” represents a major step toward independence for the couple.
And it could have something to do with their latest rift involving the royal family.
Meghan and Harry signed $100 million deal with Netflix recently, and while the nature of the collaboration remains unknown, it’s already got the royals up in arms.
The reason is that the Netflix is home to the acclaimed scripted series The Crown, which takes an in-depth look at the life and reign of Queen Elizabeth II.
The show provides a warts-and-all portrayal of the royal family, delving into such uncomfortable topics as the marital infidelities of the Queen’s husband, Prince Philip, and the Nazi sympathies of her uncle, King Edward VIII.
Conversation about the series is said to be forbidden in Buckingham Palace, and no member of the family has remarked on it publicly.
Insiders say Prince William in particular is livid about Harry’s latest business deal, and sources claim the brothers are no longer on speaking terms.
Is it mere coincidence that Harry and Meghan decided to ditch one of their last clear ties to the royals just as their long-simmering feud began to bubble over again?
Perhaps, but it’s not hard to see why so many have jumped to the conclusion that the two developments are connected.
Of course, it’s possible that this is just a temporary arrangement.
Maybe Harry and Meghan decided to go for a more casual tone for the ABC appearance, and they’ll be back to using their formal titles in no time.
But it’s equally possible that this was a deliberate and permanent move intended to send a clear message to Harry’s family that they’re no longer in control of the former Duke and Duchess.
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