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Film Critique Assignment

The primary focus of the documentary, ‘Breaking the huddle’, is the struggle of the African Americans in breaking the barriers of color and race for playing football in a college in south America. The whites and the blacks in this city of Birmingham Alabama are kept separated and colleges did not allow or let the whites mix with the African Americans, even during the formation of football teams. African students were not allowed on the college campuses and both the communities preferred this.

The specific aspect of the film which stood out were the emotions and inner feelings of all the cast especially the African American students who were very comfortable with the segregation and felt discomfort while assimilating with the white Americans. This required them to accept and follow the customs of the whites which for them was a huge compromise, but they also had the huge burden of the hopes of the entire African American community on their shoulders, which doubled their task and pressures in the sport.

I could feel and truly understand the pressures of integrating which the African Americans went through at that time, since being a Korean migrant I am faced with the daunting task of integrating and accepting the values and culture of the host community in which I function. From this particular aspect I learnt, that compromises are made at every level when you have to leave your native country behind and settling down comfortably in another land requires you to completely change your culture and traditions so that you can integrate yourself and be one of them.

Acceptance is not easy for the host community either and the process of acculturation is as difficult for them as for the immigrants. From this film I learnt that very often the political climate of a place determines the attitude and action of the people living there similar to Bear Bryant, who privately expresses his desire to recruit African Americans, but is aware of that due to the politics, Governor George Wallace would not permit him to do so.

In a way the film has changed my thinking to some extent that the fight for acceptance is a struggle and that if you have the talent and the will, nothing can stop you from becoming famous, no matter what the hurdles in life may be. The film does not completely alter my beliefs, but I am now more confident that hard work and perseverance increase your chances of success and that true talent cannot be held back for long.

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