Wednesday, August 5, 2020

The Stand: How One Gesture Shook The World

The image is iconic, one with which all those interested in Olympic history and the civil rights movement are most familiar. Less well known, however, is the story around it, the journey taken by Tommie Smith and John Carlos to the medal rostrum at the 1968 Mexico Games.

That tale, and the social and political context around it, is the subject of the latest film by Kimbia Athletics director Tom Ratcliffe who, together with Becky Paige, made The Stand: How One Gesture Shook The World.

Released yesterday, the 69-minute film features revealing interviews and insights from the surviving protagonists of that seminal moment in history, and it has so far received superb reviews.

“Powerful and electric, ‘The Stand’ boldly and clearly delivers the message that the ‘Olympic rings should tie the world together, not tear it apart,'” wrote Bob Ramsak for World Athletics. “Critically, it transcends sport like the gesture did at the time. Given current worldwide events, its release could not be better timed.”

Jonathan Gault of wrote that “the true value of the film is its ability to place that moment on the podium into context.”

“It’s worth the watch. While the entire film is, nominally, about ‘The Stand,’ the segment dedicated to the gesture itself runs just seven of the film’s 69 minutes. Which makes sense when you consider the medal ceremony lasted less than two minutes and the protest itself had only been planned shortly beforehand, after the 200m final had taken place earlier that day.”

Steve Warren of Insite Atlanta wrote that it was ” a good story well told by the people who lived it.”

Alex Billington of wrote that it is “a revealing exploration into the circumstances that led runners Tommie Smith and John Carlos to that historic moment at the Mexico City Games, mining the great personal risks they took and the subsequent fallout they endured.”

John Defore of the Hollywood Reporter: “An iconic image of protest gets its backstory explored in The Stand, Tom Ratcliffe and Becky Paige’s look at two Black Olympians who raised their fists and bowed their heads at the 1968 Mexico City games. Reminding viewers that Colin Kaepernick was far from the first athlete to be told he should keep his principles off the field, the straightforward but welcome doc doesn’t need to spell out how many of its protagonists’ concerns remain pressing today.”

Watch The Stand on Amazon or on the following platforms:

Digital: iTunes, Google Play, Microsoft, Vudu, FandangoNOW
Cable: iNdemand, Bell, DirecTV, Dish, Telus, Vubiquity




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