After watching the Netflix documentary Blood Brothers: Malcolm X and Muhammad Ali, students will write a two-page film review
Netflix describes Blood Brothers: Malcolm X & Muhammad Ali as “the definitive documentary about legendary icons Malcolm X and Muhammad Ali.” Featuring never before seen archival footage, the documentary is inspired by the book Blood Brothers: The Fatal Friendship Between Muhammad Ali and Malcolm X written by Randy Roberts and Johnny Smith.
Blood Brothers: Malcolm X & Muhammad Ali tells the extraordinary story behind the friendship of two of the most iconic figures of the 20th century: Muhammad Ali and Malcolm X. Few people understand the bond these men shared. The charismatic and outspoken Olympic champion who charmed the nation, and the ex-con-turned intellectual revolutionary who railed against the evils of white oppression by speaking truth to power. The message they carried is still as potent and relevant today as ever before. Their bond was undoubtedly deep, their friendship real and their legacies inextricably bound.
Directed by Marcus Clarke, Blood Brothers was produced by Kenya Barris, Jason Perez, Simon George, Erynn Sampson, and Lightbox’s Jonathan Chinn and Simon Chinn.
Keep in mind that the purpose of the documentary review is to inform readers, in this case, the general public, about the film. Furthermore, a reviewer’s task is to offer an interpretation or argument about the film’s merits. How does Blood Brothers help us better understand the significance of the relationship between Muhammad Ali and Malcolm X?
Students should take detailed notes while they watch the documentary. As you take notes identify the most important storylines, scenes, characters, and interviews.
What is the main story? When/where does it take place?
How do the most striking stories help us better understand the director’s point of view? Does the documentary offer any social, political, or moral messages?
Students should also consider the cinematography. In the film industry, cinematography involves various techniques, including the general composition of a scene; the lighting of the set or location; the choice of cameras, lenses, and filters; the camera angle and movements; sound effects and music; and the integration of any special effects. In short, cinematography is about how the director presents the story on screen.
The basis of your arguments should be grounded in examples from the film.
Students should organize their review around three sections: an introduction that summarizes the documentary; a comprehensive evaluation of the film; and a conclusion.
The introduction paragraph should summarize the documentary and end with your thesis statement—the argument you are making about the film. The introduction should also include the director Marcus Clarke or important producers associated with the film (Kenya Barris).
Most of your paper will consist of body paragraphs where you provide analysis of the film’s messages and cinematography. What are the strengths and weaknesses of the film?
A strong conclusion paragraph does not summarize what you already wrote in your review. Rather, your conclusion should restate your thesis and addresses whether you would recommend the film to audiences. Would you recommend the documentary? Why or why not? What will viewers learn from watching Blood Brothers? Does the documentary advance our knowledge about the history of sports, race, and civil rights?
Remember, your review should practice formal writing standards. Avoid slang and jargon.
Please use a 12-point Times New Roman font and double-space your paragraphs.
Your review should follow a logical path and have clear paragraphs with strong topic sentences.
Use quotes judiciously. Quotations can be effective, but overuse diminishes your authority.
Proofread your work! Read your essay out loud to catch mistakes and polish your language.
Do not plagiarize. Plagiarism is the use of another person’s words and/or ideas without properly citing the source. Plagiarizing essays will result in an “F” for the essay and possibly the course.