In the movie “Malcolm X”, Denzel Washington embodies the beliefs and the motives of civil rights activist, Malcolm Little. Despite anyone’s previous perspective of “Malcolm X” I can rest assured they would feel some sort of pity for him after watching this movie. The movie is an engaging biography of Malcolm’s life starting from his teen years and leading up to his death. Although the film gives us a little information on Malcolm Little’s childhood it seems to only be mentioned so we know why Malcolm acts the way he does during the beginning of the movie. It would have been nice to follow Little’s life starting from his birth, so we know why he is in some of the places he’s at in the movie as well as some of the long relationships he may of had with some of the other characters. Spike Lee, the director and producer of this movie, does a good job laying out the thoughts of Little throughout the whole movie. Somehow Lee puts us in the shoes of Little and has us thinking that we would make the same decisions as Little given the situations he was in.
Malcolm X was born Malcolm Little in Omaha, Nebraska and was raised with three other siblings. Little’s dad was murdered when he was six because of his speaking out against the KKK and his mother was put in a mental house after Little turned thirteen. We learn these two facts through the movie while Little is talking with his girlfriend; who he later on left so he wouldn’t soil her purity. Little then started dating a white girl which made him seem like a rebel to the social system. In the movie he lived in Boston during this young adult life, but after wanting to switch up his lifestyle he moved to Harlem. He participates in gang activity and drags along his girlfriend with him. After a nasty turn of events the gang turns against Little who runs back to Boston with his girlfriend. He begins to live a bold life in Boston, and decides to steal from a house with an old friend of his. Little and his friend get caught and are sent to prison immediately. The two friends were sent to different prisons. While in prison Little learned the way of the Islamic faith and the ways of Elijah Muhammad, who didn’t think so well of the whites. Little started speaking against American culture and treatment of blacks until the league of Islam that he joined turned against him. He then took a journey to Mecca and learned the true Islamic faith and came to America a more peaceful person. The movie ended with him being killed in his last speech he gave even though he was given multiple threats.
This biographical movie focused on Little’s emotional life and his moral thoughts. A lot of things I learned about him from school didn’t show up. They didn’t really focus too much of what he said on speeches but it seemed like Spike Lee was trying to make Little look more heroic. It was a great movie that really you made you think no matter the color or religion. The movie reveals actions of a man that had came about because of how a society treated him. His tenacity and thoughtfulness is what inspired many to stand up and take pride in their heritage and their rights, such as Nelson Mandela.