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At-A-Glance Film Reviews

Remember the Titans (2000)



Reviews and Comments

Remember the Titans is based on the true story of a high school football team following the desegregation of schools in the area. The black coach (Denzel Washington) is given the job over the more experienced white coach (Will Patton) as a bone the board can throw to assist in the appearance of integration. Washington initially does not want to accept the job on these terms. Resolving this matter is only the beginning, because then there are the players to deal with, most of whom don't relish the idea of playing alongside members of the other race. Then there is the rest of the school and the community at large.

No, it's not another heavy-handed, hard-hitting urban drama; Remember the Titans quickly takes on the form of a feel-good movie, and I mean this in the best sense. It never forgets the gravity of its subject, never deludes itself with the notion that the world's problems can be solved in two hours, and most importantly does not forget that its characters are individuals rather than race representatives. But it does recognize that people can and do change, that ignorance can be cured with education, and wars are won through small victories.

The movie is never far from the hearts of its characters. There are moments dramatized for effect, of course, but it does not rely upon manipulation to affect us; rather, it trusts that we will share its empathy for its characters. Perhaps because of this, we do.