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Customer Review

on February 28, 2005
While the movie itself is excellent, this is one of those DVDs that makes a great film even greater.

Much has been said about the 1992 film, so I'll concentrate on the extras. First of all, the widescreen is not so wide that it makes you squint to see it. It's at a good porportion. But the edited scenes are really interesting. We see previously unseen footage of Denzel as Malcolm courting Angela Bassett as Betty Shabazz (in a rather touching way). We see Denzel/Malcolm putting an initiate through the rigors in an amusing fashion, we see him studying and feeding his hunger for books while in jail, and we see some interesting scenes of Denzel/Malcolm making anti-racist and pro-brotherhood statements near the end of his life to a young white girl and an Arab he meets in Mecca. A lot of people who miss the point about Malcolm's transformation should see those scenes (which actually appear in the original book).

(Slight complaint, the stuff about the Sphinx's black nose being shot off by Napoleon is a bunch of BS that didn't happen, even Molefi Asante admitted this on 60 minutes a few years ago. So it's just as well that that scene was not included in the original film).

Also, "Baines" was actually John Bembry, aka Bimbi, who encouraged Malcolm to read in prison. It was actually Malcolm's real life brothers who really introduced him to the Nation of Islam teachings. Not a complaint, just a clarification.

There is also an excellent documentary about the making of this film. A real Horatio Alger type story of how Spike beat the odds through dogged determination to raise the money to make the film the way he felt it needed to be made. It was sad to realize that the film was not as popular as hoped among young people upon it's intitial release and the "Malcolmania" of the early 90s turned out to be a fad, but at least this DVD will give people the opportunity to learn from Malcolm's story.

Then there is the uncut 1972 documentary "Malcolm X. The raw, uncut REAL Malcolm talking strong and taking numbers! This is a brilliantly edited collection of chronological clips of Macolm, Elijham Muhammad, the young Louis Farrakhan, and all the other major players into an excellent biography without additional narration. It lets the viewer decide in an excellet fashion.

So see the 1992 movie, then the "making of" documentary, then the deleted scenes, and THEN the 1972 documentary and you'll get the next best thing to reading all there is to know about Malcolm X thought. Enjoy it, I did. College and high school teachers will REALLY want this for their history classes.
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