Watch Malcolm X Debate Sam Cooke in ‘One Night in Miami’ | Anatomy of a Scene


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Watch Malcolm X Debate Sam Cooke in ‘One Night in Miami’ | Anatomy of a Scene



In a heated conversation onscreen, the way performers approach silent moments is as important as their dialogue. That is Regina King’s belief, and in her feature directing debut, “One Night in Miami” (streaming on Amazon), she extracts meaning from both the use of words and the absence of them.

The film takes place in 1964 on the night that Cassius Clay (Eli Goree) becomes heavyweight champion of the world. Afterward, he gathers at a hotel with Malcolm X (Kingsley Ben-Adir), Sam Cooke (Leslie Odom Jr.) and Jim Brown (Aldis Hodge). The celebratory evening leads to passionate debate about, among other things, the ways that famous Black men should contribute to the civil rights movement.

In this sequence Malcolm criticizes Sam for not creating the kind of music that would more strongly support the cause, and sparring ensues between them. In her narration, King discusses how she built the scene to steer the audience from one perspective to another.

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17 Comments

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  1. Who’s Casius Clay?? I know of a Mohamed “the greatest” Ali. Why are you forcing a name on a man who despised and relinquished it during his lifetime. I know at the time of winning the bout he hadn’t converted yet but you should respect the fact he is no longer known by that name.

  2. Now, I like the movie and the performance of Leslie Odom Jr. is wonderful! Also, this movie is based on a play; so no fault to Regina King. However, on February 25, 1964. Sam Cooke was at the place this fictional Malcolm wanted him to be. On this date in 1964, Sam Cooke owned his master recordings, owned a publishing company (established in 1959), owned a record label (established in 1959), employed Black people, and has already recorded and performed on TV “A Change Is Gonna Come” (performed February 7, 1964).

  3. (Jesus is coming back. Soon)

    (Isaiah 34:1)- “come here and listen, O nations of the earth. Let the world and everything in it hear my words.”

    (Joel 2:1)- “the day of the Lord is upon us.

    (Habakkuk 2:3)- “If it seems slow in coming, wait patently, for it will surely take place. It will not be delayed.”

    (Joel 2:12)- That is why the Lord says, “turn to me now while there is time.”

    (Ezekiel 18:27)- If people turn from their sins and do what is right, they will save their lives.

    (Explanation: He wants everyone that is observing this message to do their best in order to refrain from doing the following things:

    -disrespecting their parents
    -bullying/ being rude to others
    -making fun of others
    -insulting others
    -gossiping
    -selling drugs
    -cheating/ having affairs

    If you do this, He will forget everything that you’ve ever done wrong. And he will reward you with heaven.

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