Tuesday, December 3, 2013


Once again we were lucky enough to watch an American film in our English class. This is the third time we’ve watched a movie, and also the third time we’ve learned something from a film, because that’s basically all that matters when we watch a movie in our English class.
The title of the movie that we have watched today is “The Great Debaters”, and I really liked it. Personally I would say that this is one of the better movies that I have watched through my lifespan. I really liked the way how the debaters fought against their opponents with nothing more than words. There are some people who say that words are only words and that they can do no harm, but trust me, if you watch the movie that I’ve just watched, you’ll know that I’m speaking the truth when I say that words can do a lot of harm if they’re used in a correct way.
Nobody actually got hurt because of a bunch of words in the movie, but I hope you get my point.

The movie “The Great Debaters” is as you may have guessed about debaters. The plot takes place in 1935 primarily in Marshall, Texas, although the young debaters travel across the country to meet their opponents who attend other colleges.
The debaters, or the main characters in the movie, are black and go to Wiley College – a college for black students. The students that we meet here are Henry Lowe, James Farmer, Jr., Samantha Booke and Hamilton Burgess, and their teacher Melvin B. Tolson. All of the people that I’ve mentioned here have actually lived in real life. I don’t remember what each one of them became when they grew up, but I can certainly tell you that they became either lawyers, doctors or something else.

As mentioned before, the four students that I mentioned above are all a part of the debate team of Wiley College, who along with their professor travel to different colleges in the USA and debate with other students about different themes. They were very successful and had many victories, which is why Harvard students, a national debating champion, invited the students from Wiley over to Boston so that they could debate against each other.
I will not tell you who won, if you want to know that, I’m afraid you’ll have to watch the movie by yourself. I don’t see a reason why you shouldn’t watch it because it is after all a very good movie directed by Denzel Washington himself. He starred as Melvin B. Tolson, by the way.

Before we started watching the movie, we had to write two questions that we wanted answered after the movie. One of my own questions was “How was the Harvard University back in the 1930s?” I thought I would get a precise answer to this question since the three students from Wiley College went to Harvard to debate against the Harvard students.

All in all, I didn’t exactly get a precise answer to my question, and I’m not even sure I got an answer to it at all, because I think that not much has changed at Harvard from 1935 to present. The university has probably stayed more or less the same since it has been founded till today.

Well, even if I didn’t get my question answered, I certainly did learn a thing or two thanks to the movie. I would definitely recommend this movie for those who are into American history and how the Afro-Americans were treated in the southern states back then.

1 comment:

  1. Like your comments about the movie. I too learned a lot from watching it. I'm guessing it is different at Harvard today compared with 1936. Perhaps someone who knows can help us here?