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TIFF 2020: “One Night in Miami”


Rating: 5 out of 5.

It takes one person to make a point. There is a need of only one individual to change the course of the future. And when a certain group of people come together, it can be so revolutionary that it sets the future in a way nobody could imagine. “One Night In Miami” is much more than just a film. It’s the cinematic experience of a journey beautifully shot from first time director Regina King.

Set in 1964 in Miami, the film follows three of the most outstanding icons of black community – Mohammad Ali, Jim Brown, and Sam Cooke along with Malcolm X. The real-life friends gather together to celebrate Clay’s big victory after becoming a heavyweight champion. What started out as a celebration becomes a night long discussion of their role in the civil rights movement, the importance of having the support of famous people, and helping the black community to have a voice, that was taken away by the nation they were born in.

“One Night in Miami” is an absolutely gorgeous film from start to end, and it questions what do we do, or what we did, to help the people in need. Cassius Clay is about to announce his decision of becoming a Muslim; Jim Brown is one of the best NFL players, Sam Cooke is a singer, and Malcolm X, a member of the Nation of Muslim, is helping Cassius Clay to make the life-changing decision. During one night, the discussion the friends will be having is heated and sometimes they have to shout. But they also laugh and are overjoyed because of one single night that will bring them closer together than they were before.

Based on Kemp Powers’ play, actor- director Regina King delivers a triumphant work of art, that truly shines in every scene, every angle. Whether it’s the outstanding performances from Kingsley Ben-Adir (perfectly casted as Malcolm X), Aldis Hodge (as Jim Brown), Leslie Odom Jr. (as Sam Cooke) and Eli Goree, as a playful, funny and intelligent Mohammad Ali, the film never fails to stun.

That said, if you hear lots of praises coming to Regina King, make no mistake – it is all well-deserved. “One Night in Miami” will transport you right into the night, whether it is fictionalized or not, but to the night that will look as real as any of those who lived in your life. More importantly, the answer the film delivers is clear and loud – no matter what color your skin, if you have a platform to use or a voice that can be heard across the globe, do not stay silent. Speak up against injustice, racism and brutality. Because if it’s not you who will do it, then who else will?

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