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Deacons for Defense
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They were defiant. They were determined. They were not going down without a fight. With the whole world watching, these men stood up to the Ku Klux Klan and changed their lives, their town, and their country forever . . . the moving, inspirational,
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The book of the same name is a more comprehensive history of the armed civil rights struggle and contains the real life story on which the movie was based, but the movie changes the names of everyone and thing, except for the town in which it took place in. And while the movie touches on the black leadership acquiescing to racist policies in exchange for marginal power, it does not fully explore that shameful example of Ben Francklin's adage "Those Who Sacrifice Liberty For Security Deserve Neither. He who would trade liberty for some temporary security, deserves neither liberty nor security."
A better movie candidate would have been the black high school teacher who was under threat of losing his job and the students started a boycott that spread and gained national attention.
Forest Whitaker has been one of my favorite actors since I saw him in Fast Times at Ridgemont High, but he is out of character as the submissive black laborer at the paper plant. He always brings an intensity to his various roles, and that showed in this movie and did not fit with the initial portrayal of the character. If the movie had staying closer to the person his role was based on, a hustler and loner who was not cowed by society, that intensity would have been a better fit.
It is a good movie, but it could have been better.
I highly recommend this movie !!