The picture of the three men on the winner's podium after the men's 200m final at the 1968 Mexico City Olympics is still considered one of the most powerful images of modern history. Almost forgotten in the ensuing years is the seemingly quiet and composed man in the left of the picture, the Australian silver medalist. Why do Tommie Smith and John Carlos consider him a brother? This is the story of the quiet man, the forgotten man, and a salute to him.
I really enjoyed this doco style movie. I was drawn to it because I like learning more about history. And since this was based before my time (I wouldn't even have been a twinkle in my mothers eye yet!) I was intrigued by it. I have always enjoyed watching the olympics, and I did study History in college, so this movie reminded me of certain issues I studied like aparthied and racism.
I thought it was great that the actual athletes involved in this issue were the ones to portray it in film. It made it so much more realistic to the viewer.
Because of what Peter Norman, John Carlos and Tommie Smith did when they took the podium after becoming the winners of the 200m sprint final at the Mexico Olympics in 1968, Smith and Carlos were sent home in disgrace by the USA Olympic Committee and their athletic careers were ruined. Norman was officially reprimanded by the Australian Olympic Committee - even though he didn't "salute" - and was overlooked for the 1972 Munich Olympics even though he had run the qualifying time many times and was ranked 5th in the world.
The Salute that Smith and Carlos did was the Black Power Salute and if they had not done that salute, the race would have been the greatest race of all time. Instead it was a stance that brought the Civil Rights Movement into the forefront.
The doco does go for 2 hrs so it is best watched uninterrupted, and not late at night, otherwise it becomes rather mundane as there is a lot of interviews.
I also thought it was great that the doco focused on Peter Norman's life and I thought it was a very fitting tribute to a great man to honour him by making a public holiday after him. His nephew (Matt Norman) did a wonderful job in this tribute to him.
All in all, I will be watching this doco movie again.
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