Reviewed by: Renee Kaster
|Featuring:||Terrence Howard, Bernie Mac, Tom Arnold, Regine Nehy, Kevin Phillips, Evan Ross, Nate Parker|
|Producer:||John Sacchi, Michael Paseornek, Victoria Fredrick|
“Two can reach higher than one. Eight will touch a miracle.”
“Pride” is a movie of desire, determination and redemption. Inspired by a true story, Jim Ellis (Terrence Howard) suffered the consequences of racism and violence as young swimmer in 1964. After being turned down for a position as a math teacher at an affluent high school in 1973, Jim is placed at the Marcus Foster Recreation Center in Philadelphia. He is there only to prepare in the demolition of the center. Soon, he befriends the boys who play basketball at the center. Through his passion for swimming, Jim begins coaching the boys to become competitive swimmers. Jim and Elston (Bernie Mac), the janitor of the center, strive to keep it open.
Jim, eventually starts the first African-American swim team in the community, Philadelphia Department of Recreation (PDR). As the team begins to compete in meets, they must deal with the same hatred Jim experienced as a young swimmer. Emotions begin to rise, and Jim retaliates with violence to protect his team. However, his character is kept intact when he declines as the head coach during the state championships. He understands that his behavior is not the example he intended to be for his team. The team realizes that achieving success is not based on the color of skin, but on (PDR) Pride, Determination and Resilience.
The movie contains minimal profanity and racial slurs elicited by African-Americans, which may be offensive to some audiences. However, the message of determination, belief in oneself, surrendering to the misconceptions of society, becoming an example to youth, and repentance for mistakes are all contributors to a moral lifestyle. Mature audiences will appreciate this life-long message.
Spirituality is threaded throughout the entire movie. Through his love for the team and the sport, Jim’s faith is the catalyst for the personal growth of the team. When the team hosts their first meet at their recreation center, Elston (Bernie Mac) attends church and inspires the members of the congregation to attend the swim meet. This is a beautiful example of how important God, community, and family contribute to the success and dreams of others. Although Jim continues to struggle with racism in the film, he comes to a point when he realizes that some people just don’t change, and he surrenders to it. He believes his purpose is to be a positive example for the team and the community. He repents for his acts of violence. In the film, the opposing team, Mainline Academy, and the coach (Tom Arnold) belong to an affluent neighborhood. They portray much hatred toward PDR. After many competitions, Mainline’s team appreciate the pride and determination of PDR, and they too understand that success is not limited to the color of skin.
“Pride” is a powerful film that incorporates all aspects of spirituality and morality. Violence is portrayed only for the viewer to be aware of its negative consequences. Racial slurs may be offensive to some audiences. The lesson of faith in oneself and others helps the viewer to understand that the character and dignity of a person make all dreams possible to achieve.
Violence: Minor / Profanity: Mild / Sex/Nudity: None
See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.