It is one of the most iconic images of our time: two African-American medal winners at the 1968 Olympics standing in silent protest with heads bowed and fists raised as “The Star Spangled Banner” is played. Fifty years later, that singular event remains deeply inspiring, controversial and even misunderstood as one of the most overtly political statement in the annals of sport. The Stand: How One Gesture Shook the World is a revealing exploration into the circumstances that led runners Tommie Smith and John Carlos to that historic moment at the Mexico City Games, mining the great personal risks they took and the subsequent fallout they endured. Through intimate interviews with the participants and witnesses involved in that moment, along with compelling images and archive, the film explores the 1968 Olympics human rights stand in the context of a critically important and volatile time for the U.S. Civil Rights Movement. While The Stand: How One Gesture Shook the World documents this lasting moment in American history, The Stand also remains faithful to what was, for athletes and millions of Olympic fans around the world, a riveting 200-meter footrace between the fastest runners of the day, young people in their athletic prime striving to be the best on one October day in Mexico City. The Stand: How One Gesture Shook the World also features high jumper Ralph Boston, sprinter Mel Pender, crew member Paul Hoffman, silver medalist Peter Norman and Professor Harry Edwards. Filmmakers Tom Ratcliffe and Becky Paige (Bannister: Everest on the Track) join us to talk about the story behind a legendary act that echoes to this day.
In tennis, measurement – specifically, judging whether a ball is in or out – is particularly crucial. The new ESPN Films 30 for 30 Short, SUBJECT TO REVIEW takes a close look at not just the technology that’s been developed to determine the right calls with better accuracy, but the meaning and significance of that pursuit. The film, directed by Theo Anthony (“RAT FILM”) will air Sunday, Dec. 22, at 3 p.m. ET on ESPN. Tracing the history of photographic review back more than a hundred years, and chronicling controversial moments before and after the age of review in tennis, SUBJECT TO REVIEW explores the mechanisms of the cameras and computerized simulations that now serve as the final word on close calls – but also the limits of the veracity of those calls. Ultimately, it’s a story about technology in sports – but also a study of what we want from our machines, and our minds, well beyond any court of play. “’Subject to Review’ is about how some images are made and why they’re made that way,” said director Anthony. “It’s a film about the inescapable rift between the world and how we image that world. I hope that audiences can take this small exercise in critical curiosity beyond the world of tennis, giving audiences a little space to look differently at the world.” Theo Anthony joins us to talk about the complex relationship between flawed human judgement and the “certainty” of technology.
“Subject to Review” has screened at New York Film Festival, Hamptons Film Festival, Vancouver Film Festival and Mar Del Plata Film Festival.
About the Filmmaker – Theo Anthony is a writer, photographer, and filmmaker whose films have received premieres at the Toronto International Film Festival, Locarno International Film Festival, Rotterdam International Film Festival, and SXSW. His first feature, “RAT FILM,” was released by Cinema Guild in 2017 to critical acclaim. “Subject to Review” is produced by Sebastian Pardo and Riel Roch-Decter of MEMORY, an independent artist-driven studio specializing in producing and curating innovative, thought-provoking works that push the formal boundaries of their medium. Together, the duo has produced and distributed multiple award-winning fiction and non-fiction films.
SUBJECT TO REVIEW will air on ESPN beginning Sunday, December 22, at 3 p.m. (Eastern)