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Reflection on The Film Remember The Titans

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As the movie begins there is a gloomy mood due to it being set in a graveyard. The warm, autumn colors create a positive atmosphere rather than sad. The narrator’s voice tells us that “In Virginia, High School Football was a way of life”. This alerts us to the importance of football in the community. Remember the Titans is a sports film from 2000 based on the true story of a racially divided football team from the 1970s. Set in Virginia in the early 1970s, Remember the Titans focuses on how a winning high school football team brings together a town sharply divided by racism. It highlights the relationships of the black and white people, and how they learned to get along with each other in a time when this was not socially acceptable. Many questions are brought up throughout the movie, of what is right and what is wrong, and challenges of the characters. This makes it a spectacular movie to watch.

T. C. Williams High School hires a black head coach, Herman Boone to lead the school’s newly desegregated football team. Bill Yoast, the former head coach and a nominee for the Virginia High School Hall of Fame, becomes the team’s defensive coordinator. Black and white football team members often clash in racial conflicts. The biggest fights occur between the white captain and a black player. Coach Boone can achieve racial harmony on the team. Many people in the community did not want a black coach at their high school. They swear that one loss of a game will result in Coach Boone losing his job. The Titans slowly gain support from the community. I have seen this movie many times. Viewers who watch this movie repeatedly can find something new with the movie each time they watch it. Whether a new character is noticed, a new song is heard, or a new scene is created. It is a movie that can be used as a teaching tool. The lessons learned range from the fact that change is inevitable, attitude being everything, to friendship is most important. We can also learn that fighting does not solve anything, and not to be afraid to stand out. The most important lesson is that teamwork is everything. In Remember the Titans, Coach Boone uses his influence as a Southern black head football coach to calm budding racial tensions in society and his team. The common desire was to succeed in unifying his racially divided football team. It did a great job interpreting what was happening in the United States of America at that time. It is a very honest movie that is easy to understand. There are many strong characters within the movie, and they do a great job dealing with the sensitive subjects that are present in the movie.

In 1971, school board members stirred controversy in Alexandria, Virginia when they integrated two segregated high schools into one, T.C. Williams. They also decided to name Herman Boone an African American coach from Tennessee, the new head football coach. This move angered people in the community, as T.C. had been successful enough under head coach Bill Yoast. Yoast’s players from previous years were scared their starting spots were in jeopardy with a new coach, especially because of his race. They did not stand behind the school boards’ decision, in their opinion Bill Yoast was and would continue to be the head coach of the Titans. This action by the white players, and their refusal to play on the same team as African Americans, put Coach Boone into a very difficult situation. The black and white players refused to speak, sit on the same bus, or even make eye contact with one another. After seeing the repercussions of this in the school building and also on the field, Herman knew he had to take immediate action. In one of the more dramatic scenes of the film, the audience sees T.C. Williams High School on the first day of classes. Suddenly, the audience’s peaceful thoughts during the fall weather changes to fear. Hundreds of parents stand in the streets throwing household items at school buses, violently rocking back and forth signs portraying vulgar and extremely racist phrases. The only divider between the protesters and the front doors of the school is the National Guard officers holding up four-foot high shields. The director did a great job making this scene as realistic as he could have. He makes the audience feel as if they were right there in 1971 watching the whole protest unfold.

Prior to the start of training camp at Gettysburg College, Boone pairs up the players one-by-one, one black teammate with one white one. To begin with this led to more fighting, quarreling, and segregation on the team. Two of the biggest fighters against this coach-enforced integration were Julius Campbell and Gary Bertier. Julius was an excellent defensive end. He was quick, agile, athletic, and strong. He also was very set in his ways and played in a one-man team mindset most of the time. Gary was a returning All-American defensive captain from Yoast’s team. He also was quick, agile, athletic, and strong, but felt challenged by Julius’s athleticism. The two butted heads constantly at the start of camp and refused to even be in the same room with one another. This led to another moment where Boone had to make a move, and this move changed everything. One of the finest moments in sports film history, Coach Boone wakes up all the players and coaches in the middle of the night and leads them on a run into the unknown dark woods around campus. This scene shows top-notch camera work by the film crew, they had shots to follow the entirety of the team on the run rather than a specific few. We see teammates pushing each other on the entirety of the run, and by the time Boone stops, the entire team is winded. They look up, and in front of them is the cemetery where the Battle of Gettysburg was fought. While the players are catching their breath, Boone says,”50,000 men died on this very field, fighting the same battle we’re still fighting in ourselves today. This green field was painted red, bubbling with the blood of young boys, smoke and hot lead pouring through their bodies.” Looking back, the next words that came out of Boone’s mouth were the turning point for the Titans, “Take a lesson from the dead; if we don’t come together, we too will be destroyed, just like they were. I don’t care if you like each other right now, but you will respect one another. And maybe, just maybe, we’ll learn how to play this game like men.”

Remember the Titans has a few stereotypes represented in the movie. To begin with the most obvious one, the community was your stereotypical, violent, southern, segregated community that was common during the 1970s. A southern community sets the scene for racial prejudice, and violent outbursts. The southerners even had the southern way of speaking, which we would consider to be ‘red neck’. This helps suggest racial prejudice as well. More specific stereotypes are that blacks are immediately seen as ‘less fit’ in all aspects including the football team. This is exemplified when the white, defensive coach consoles the black players after getting harshly yelled at by the black, head coach. The head coach calls the defensive coach out on this when the head coach asks if the defensive coach does the same for the white players on the team. Another example of stereotyping in the movie is when Ronnie Bass (nicknamed Sunshine) was made fun of for having long hair. He was called fruitcake and pretty boy by his teammates and people at school.

Remember the Titans could be compared to other movies. Two that come to mind are The Blind Side and Hidden Figures. Both movies deal with some of the same issues as Remember the Titans. Both are also based on true stories. The Blind Side is based on the true story of Leigh Anne Tuohy and Sean Tuohy, a white husband and wife, who take in a homeless teenage African-American, Michael Oher. As in Remember the Titans, it is a true-life based sports story. The characters deal with racism. In this movie, Leigh Anne Tuohy’s friend questions her as to why she is raising an African American boy. Michael must deal with racist people when he is enrolled in a private, predominantly white school. Hidden Figures is the true-life story of a team of female African American mathematicians who served a vital role in NASA during the early years of the U.S. space program. This movie is set around the same time period as Remember the Titans, when segregation was a major issue in society. The women had to deal with, first and foremost, being African American. The black women had an office away from all the others and had to use a bathroom just for them. The male NASA employees did not like the women having the jobs, and they especially did not want to have to work with them. In this movie they had to learn to bond and get along to get men into space.

In conclusion, Remember the Titans is one of the best movies I have ever seen. The writers did a great job dealing with the issues of the time period, and the characters did a great job portraying the people involved. This movie was about overcoming obstacles such as racism and unifying together as a team for a common goal.

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Reflection On The Film Remember The Titans. (2021, May 14). GradesFixer. Retrieved August 16, 2022, from https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/reflection-on-the-film-remember-the-titans/
“Reflection On The Film Remember The Titans.” GradesFixer, 14 May 2021, gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/reflection-on-the-film-remember-the-titans/
Reflection On The Film Remember The Titans. [online]. Available at: <https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/reflection-on-the-film-remember-the-titans/> [Accessed 16 Aug. 2022].
Reflection On The Film Remember The Titans [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2021 May 14 [cited 2022 Aug 16]. Available from: https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/reflection-on-the-film-remember-the-titans/
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