On 25th February 1964* Cassius Clay met three friends in a hotel room. He’d just become World Champion and was immediately recognised as an all time ‘Great’. Sam Cooke was a superstar singer and black businessman. Jim Brown was a superstar NFL player at the peak of his playing career transitioning to being a film star. And finally, Malcolm X, a black intellectual and Muslim.
Three men at the peak of their careers and Malcolm X told them they were ‘puppets’ of white supremacy. He taunted their dependency on white ‘controllers’. For example Cooke was a millionaire and had to get his (white) agent to book a hotel in Florida: As a black man they’d have rejected him.
The film is a reconstruction of their conversation. Malcolm X attacked the mindset of the other three. He relentlessly challenged their assumptions. The entire basis of their lives. Malcolm X knew he’d be assassinated, probably by the government, for his radical opinions. And he was on 21st February 1965.
The film consists of four men talking in a hotel room. No CGI, no supermen, no cars turning over, no sex scenes: Nothing but a conversation about race which blights every black person regardless of success or wealth. A stunning film if you engage otherwise boring.
* Within a year Sam Cooke and Malcolm X were dead. They were both murdered.