New to VOD this week:
THE STAND: HOW ONE GESTURE SHOOK THE WORLD
Tom Ratcliffe and Becky Paige
GlobeDocs Presents 2018
An in-depth look back at the iconic but controversial protest staged by two African-American Olympians in 1968.
When Tommie Smith and John Carlos, two sprinters from Team USA, approached the 200m winners’ podium during the 1968 Olympic Games in Mexico City, they carried their shoes and both wore black gloves. When the American national anthem played, they bowed their heads and raised their gloved fists, protesting racial inequality in the US with the world’s attention. As a result, they were booed as they left the stadium and, soon thereafter, were forced to leave the games and, back in America, faced stigma that effectively ended whatever further sports careers they might have had. Filmmakers Tom Ratcliffe and Becky Paige revisit this indelible moment, which continues to resonate in the cultural consciousness through the actions of modern-day sports figures like Colin Kaepernick, but, most importantly, they provide the wider context that led these principled athletes to take their stand. Leading up to the Olympics was a very public debate about whether the games were an appropriate site for politics and protest, with African-American athletes and some staunch allies threatening a boycott, and the head of the International Olympic Committee standing firm that any political actions would not be tolerated – this from a man who did not object to the 1936 Olympics taking place amidst frequent Nazi salutes. While hampered by an incessant score and too reliant on talking heads, the film illuminates a valuable chapter in the history of athletics and social justice that remains instructive today.