Domingo's Galvanizing Work Elevates an Episodic Historical Film
I had no idea who Bayard Rustin was before this 2023 historical film, but now I know he was the primary orchestrator of the 1963 March on Washington, a peaceful protest attended by over 250,000 people and made mythic by Martin Luther King, Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech. Aml Ameen does a fine job capturing King's quiet assurance and fiery rhetoric, but the film is elevated by Colman Domingo's galvanizing performance in the title role. His fearless turn brings heart and soul to an essential figure in the civil rights movement hidden away because of not only his previous Communist ties but his openness as a gay man years before Stonewall. Directed by George C. Wolfe, the film itself is not quite as strong as Domingo's work because the multitude of key players flattens the storyline somewhat and makes even the march Itself feel a bit episodic. At the same time, Wolfe doesn't overreach by making this a full blown biography and smartly focuses on two incidents prior to the planning of the unprecedented protest. For that key reason as well as Domingo, the movie is essential viewing.
Reviewed by martinpersson979 / 10
Very Oscar worthy drama
This incredible drama, by a great director and starring some incredible actors - is definitely a worthy contender for Oscars in several prestigious categories.
My only regret is, of course, that I was not able to watch it in a theater. But nevertheless, it is a very well crafted, thematically important and very well acted drama, conveying a biographical and ever poignant tale.
The actors are simply incredible, the lead in particular, and an Oscar for best actor, would be highly deserved. Truly career defining to epic proportions. The script accompining it conveys the true story beautifully, and is all around very well written and expertly paced.
The cinematography, cutting and editing is great, and the film is overall very beautifully put together.
Overall, a great award worthy drama, and one I would highly recommend for any lover of film, and important for everyone!
Reviewed by tm-sheehan8 / 10
A long overdue tribute to a hero of Civil Rights
My Review - Rustin
Streaming on Netflix
My Rating 8/10
Former President Barak Obama and wife Michelle who founded their Higher Ground Production Company in 2018 are Executive Producers of this informative and entertaining portrait of an unsung hero of the American Civil Rights movement .
Bayard Rustin who is played so impressively by Colman Domingo was key to organising the historic 1963 Peaceful march on Washington to the Lincoln Memorial when an estimated 200,000 to 300,000 people gathered to advocate for the civil rights and economic rights of African Americans.
The final speaker on that momentous day was Dr Martin Luther King Jnr a close friend and ally of Bayard Rustin . He is portrayed in the movie Rustin by Aml Ameen who also delivers an impressive performance .
On that historic day in 1963 in Washington at The Lincoln Memorial Dr Martin Luther King gave his famous "I Have a Dream " speech which called for an end to racism and the bigotry associated with it.
While his historic speech made headlines around the world standing quietly behind his friend Dr Martin Luther King stood the hero of this Netflix series Bayard Rustin and it soon becomes obvious why .
Bayard Rustin the gay Afro American man who organised the March wasn't even listed as a speaker and was allotted less than 30 seconds to summarise the demands made by the leaders who spoke before him.
He was still there long after all the other people who took a turn at the podium retired for the night Bayard Rustin was still there, directing 500 volunteers in a strenuous cleaning effort to leave the National Mall better than they'd found it.
Fifty years after that momentous March In August 2013 President Obama chose civil rights leader Bayard Rustin to posthumously receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom. He said this recognition is long overdue. While the achievements of fellow recipients are related to the expansion of liberty in its broadest sense, this high honor fits Rustin to a tee.
The movie Rustin interested me because of two civil rights issues because Bayard Rustin as well as being an African-American leader in social movements for civil rights, socialism, and nonviolence, also helped secure gay rights especially towards the end of his life .
In this movie which deals more concerning the events leading up to the Washington March we see the blatant homophobia that existed even within the Afro American community that Rustin advocated so strongly for. His enemies within and without his community gossiped and vilified him attempting to disassociate themselves from his activism and organisational skills because of the stigma surrounding his sexuality.
Later in his life Bayard Rustin made his famous quote on Gay Civil Rights after the Civil Rights Bill was passed on the 2nd of July 1964 by then President Lyndon Johnson he said .
The barometer for judging the character of people, in regard human rights, is now those who consider themselves gay, homosexual, lesbian. The judgment as to whether you can trust the future, the social advancement - depending on people - will be judged on where they come out on that question.
In 1982 Bayard Rustin was very concerned about protecting his life partner Walter Naegle's financial and civil rights.
At that time gay people had no protection at all and marriage between a same-sex couple was inconceivable.
So Bayard Rustin legally adopted Walter Naegle 30 years his junior in 1982 because that was the only thing they could do to legalise their relationship.
I recommend this very entertaining movie it's an impressive cast and introduced me to an impressive man who at last like the late English mathematician Alan Turing who is now credited with helping end the 2nd World War .
Both men remained unsung heroes who because of their sexuality were vilified and ignored and not honoured until long after their deaths.