Denzel Washington's 'The Great Debaters' to Play at Sunrise
One of the outstanding movies of 2007 will be shown at the Sunrise Theater in downtown Southern Pines from Wednesday, Feb. 27, through Monday, March 3.
"'The Great Debaters,'" starring Denzel Washington, is a must-see, inspiring film for all ages," says a spokesman.
This film recounts true events that occurred in 1935 in the segregated United States involving a debate team from a small black Texas Methodist college in the small town of Marshall, Texas. It recounts the story of Melvin Tolson's (later Poet Laureate of Liberia, and published in such noted magazines as the Atlantic Monthly) formation of the first debating team from Wiley College. The team went on to win the national debating championship against Harvard. (They actually won it against the University of Southern California, but the filmmakers thought Harvard would be more dramatic.)
One of the debaters, James Farmer Jr., the son of the college president, went on to found the Congress of Racial Equality in 1942. Several incidents in the film dramatically portray the burden of humiliation and persecution African Americans faced in that era.
Denzel Washington stars as the coach and teacher, Melvin Tolson, and has been nominated for the 2008 Image Award in both categories. The film has also been nominated for the 2008 Golden Globe as the Best Motion Picture Drama. The New York Times wrote that "it radiates nobility of spirit."
Film critic Roger Ebert says, "The movie is not really about how the team defeats the national champions. It is more about how its members, its coach, its school and community believe that an education is their best way out of the morass of racism and discrimination."
"Debaters" is rated PG-13 for some questionable language and incidents of violence. It runs 2 hours and 3 minutes.
Tickets are $5 for children under 12; $6 adult matinee, and $7 for evenings. Movie times are 7:30 p.m. Thursday through Monday, with 2:30 p.m. matinees on Saturday and Sunday.
The Sunrise Theater is located at 250 Broad St. in Southern Pines. Movies at the Sunrise are ad-free. Concessions are available.
For more information, call (910) 692-3611 or visit www.sunrisetheater.com.
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