Prior to this movie I only knew the basics about Malcolm X, so it was powerful to watch the movie and see the full extent of his life in one sitting. Seeing the span of his life allowed me as the viewer to grow and develop with him. What was masterful about the movie was that while it was really long, it still had a cohesive feel. Despite covering many years and phases of life the artistic sectioning of his life allowed the viewer to have breaks in time that acted as landmarks. Each phase of his life had a specific theme and energy to it which creates continuity throughout the various time periods. The artistry of jumping between time periods was beautiful, and the movie seemed to flow throughout time in a smooth manner. Particularly in the scene when they director contrasted when the Klu Klux Klan burned Malcolm’s childhood home, with the burning of his family’s home after he left the Nation of Islam. It reminded me of our class discussion about sempiternity, where time exists outside of the linear realm.
All of this came together to inform the viewer about another perspective within the Civil Rights Movement. Obviously this movie does not act as a replacement for actually studying the history of the 1950’s and onward, but the diversity of perspective was helpful. Growing up I was regularly taught about Martin Luther King Jr, and the work he was a representative of, but I rarely had the opportunity to learn about other leaders during that time period.