u March 2001 | blackfilm.com | reviews | one shots | the hurricane
March 2001
One Shots : The Hurricane
by Shelby Jones
The story of Rubin "Hurricane" Carter is a gut-wrenching story of a profound magnitude by which your eyes and ears cannot escape. I would imagine that for those that have experienced injustice, this story will resonate deep within their bowels as the injustice smacked upon Rubin Carter probably will feel like a Hurricane left hook Carter would deliver to his opponents when he was a powerful prize-fighter. Rubin "Hurricane" Carter was sent to prison for the murder of three bar employees and served, get this, almost 20 years in prison while all along being an innocent man. An overzealous fan, John Artis, who happened to be arrested with Carter, also served time for the crime. To this day, Mr. Carter refers to Artis as his "hero." The film rides the rail of "good-popcorn eatin' flare" but it isn't stale by far. One reason it isn't stale is, of course, the knockout performance delivered by Denzel Washington. Denzel must have trouble sleeping at night with the amount of characters roaming in his memory; from Malcolm X to Steve Biko and now Rubin Carter. Denzel has managed to take (bear with me a moment) pain, anger, pride, degradation, humiliation, humbleness, toughness, thoroughness, ambiguity, shame, guilt, wrath and the vanity of these men, mix it in the Denzel story machine, and deliver unforgettable performances round for round. Well, maybe Cheadle did steal the show a bit in Devil In A Blue Dress, but without a doubt, Denzel is the story. One horrible thing being played out before the story and after the films release has been the arguing between various factions [that I care not to mention] about who should get credit for helping Carter obtain his freedom. What a shame. If any of these professed "freedom fighters" were sincerely interested in obtaining Carter's freedom, why in the hell would they be clamoring for an ounce of "media-bestowed" credit? Typical American wanna-be-the-star fanfare. The fact that Carter spent his best years in jail is an absolute travesty, and for Blacks it is one round in a 400-year struggle for justice. I am sure that Mr. Carter is absolutely pleased that anyone helped him, but why are these credit seekers unhappy? Here is an idea -anyone clamoring for some press for being a "freedom fighter," go to jail and serve 20 years and then tell us your story. For the rest of us, if you have not seen The Hurricane, please do. It will undoubtedly, irrespective of your race, deliver to your heart plenty of courage, patience and appreciation for what some human beings have experienced in the past and deal with everyday