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Race PG rating

The remarkable story of Jesse Owens, the grandson of a slave whose athletic feats defied Nazi ideology at the 1936 Olympics.

Biopic 2016 135 mins

Director: Stephen Hopkins



This remarkable story – brought to the big screen for the first time – follows the struggles of Jesse Owens, the grandson of a US-enslaved African, who went on to participate in the 1936 Olympics held in Nazi Germany. There, his inspirational performances and conduct threw down a defiant rebuke to the prevalent view of Aryan supremacy, while also highlighting his own country’s history of racial injustice.

Relative unknown Stephan James was thrust into the lead role as Owens following John Boyega’s last-minute switch to the cast of Star Wars, but he delivers a winning performance that propels this pleasingly dynamic sports movie. Director Stephen Hopkins (The Life and Death of Peter Sellers) ensures the narrative proceeds at a purposeful pace, while giving equal attention to the human, social and political dimensions of a story that became a defining moment in 20th-century history.