Throughout Jesse Owens’ career, he failed to receive the attention and respect he deserved. In the 1936 Olympics in Berlin, Germany, Owens was shunned by Hitler and the Nazi regime when he won his four gold medals. Back in America, the track star was a forgotten hero. Even Hollywood seemed to forget about Owens, but with Race, Jesse Owens is finally back in the spotlight in exhilarating and moving fashion.
Race centers around Jesse Owens, a world-class sprinter and jumper, as he completes a record-breaking collegiate career at Ohio State and gets his spot on the Olympic team. But after qualifying, the tension grows exponentially. Members of Owens’ community want him to boycott the Olympics to make a statement and host Germany is hostile towards African-Americans and Jews.
Like many recent biopics, Race is spot on in its depiction. Owens’ daughters played a big role in the production, ensuring that the film is accurate and true to life. The plot is dramatic and tense, but where this film, just like its focus, shines is on the track. The racing scenes imitate Owens’ dominance down to his unique running form and are a joy to watch.
The first major film I’ve watched from 2016, Race, is a classic, one of the best sports movies and biopics I’ve seen. A tribute to Jesse Owens, a true American legend and historic athlete, was long overdue and Race is a gold-medal performance.