Malcolm X: A Comparison Essay, Research Paper
When comparing and contrasting movies and books, the majority of the time the book presents more of a detailed atmosphere and illustration of events. However, in this case I think the book, “Autobiography of Malcolm X and the movie, Malcolm X quoin side with one another.
Spike Lee is not only one of the best filmmakers in America, but one of the most crucially important, because his films address the central subject of race, as so does the book. He doesn’t use a sentimental approach or political work, but shows how his characters live, and why. Alex Haley depiction of Malcolm X life as told to him by Malcolm, shares the same perception as the movie, but what Alex provides in the book seems to be almost or all Malcolm s different interactions with white folks , and each interaction Malcolm gained something from it – whether it was positive or negative – and that is one of the things that attracted me to his life story.
During that stage of his life, in the late 1940s, he was known as “Detroit Red,” and ran with a fast crowd – including white women who joined him for sex and burglaries. Arrested and convicted, he was sentenced to prison; the movie quotes him that he got one year for the burglaries and seven years for associating with white women while committing them, as so does the book. Prison was the best thing that happened to Red, who fell into the orbit of the Black Muslim movement of Elijah Muhammad and learned self-respect.
The movie then follows Malcolm as he sheds his last name – the legacy, the Muslims preached, of slave owners – and becomes a street-corner preacher who quickly rises until he is the a figure head in the Black Muslims, teaching that whites are the devil and that blacks must become independent and self-sufficient. During a pilgrimage to Mecca, he was embraced by Muslims of many colors and returned to America convinced that there were good people of peace in all races. Not long after, in 1965, he was assassinated – probably by members of the Muslim sect he had broken with. Denzel Washington stands at the center of the film. He never seems to be trying for an effect, and yet he is always convincing. Denzel captures the life of a civil rights leader Malcolm X, from his criminal activity to his rise in power under the Nation of Islam. Not only does Denzel present his speech, his policies and his charisma.
The movie and book tells the life story of an interesting and important man. As a sociological study, it provides fascinating insights into ghetto life and the ways which one man learned to survive in the ghetto. As a religious work – which is perhaps the way Malcolm intended the book to be read – it tells of his struggle to find his God. Yet it is as a political work that the book rather than the movie has had its strongest impact. Through his story, Malcolm has continued to exert great influence over the various black radical political movements since his death.
Spike Lee’s “Malcolm X” is one of the great screen biographies, Watching the film, I understood more clearly how we do have the power to change our own lives, how fate doesn’t deal all of the cards. The film is inspirational and educational – and it is also entertaining, as movies must be before they can be anything else.