IN THEATERS EVERYWHERE FEBRUARY 19
RACE tracks the journey of James Cleveland “Jesse” Owens (portrayed by Stephan James of Selma). As a student and athlete in Depression-era America, Jesse bears the weight of family expectations, racial tension at his college Ohio State University, and his own high standards for competition.
At Ohio State University, Jesse finds a savvy coach and stalwart friend in Larry Snyder (Jason Sudeikis) – who is unafraid to push the young man to his limits. Bolstered by the love and support of Ruth Solomon (Shanice Banton), with whom he has a young daughter, Jesse’s winning ways in intercollegiate competitions earn him a place on the U.S. Olympics team…
…if there is to be a team going to the 1936 Olympics at all; the American Olympic committee weighs a boycott in protest against Hitler with committee president Jeremiah Mahoney (Academy Award winner William Hurt) and millionaire industrialist Avery Brundage (Academy Award winner Jeremy Irons) debating the issue. Once Brundage prevails with the committee and U.S. participation is confirmed, Jesse enters a new racial and political minefield after he arrives in Berlin with his fellow athletes.
As filmmaker Leni Riefenstahl (Carice van Houten of Game of Thrones) readies her cameras to record the Games under the steely gaze of Nazi officials, Jesse reaffirms his determination to compete with excellence and honor. With the world watching, he will place in sharp relief his own country’s history of racism as well as the Hitler regime’s oppressiveness. Forever defining what an athlete can accomplish, Jesse Owens races into history as an inspiration to millions, then and now.
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