ONE PEOPLE'S PROJECT

  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

WWII SAGA RECOUNTS HEROIC EXPLOITS OF TUSKEGEE AIRMEN

E-mail Print PDF

Red TailsThe new Underworld movie took the top spot at the box office this weekend, but right behind it was the movie Red Tails, which is an action-packed pic about the legendary Tuskegee Airmen. Kam Williams has written his take on the George Lucas production.

 

Kam Williams

The Tuskegee Airmen is the nickname given the 332nd Fighter Group, the first squadron of African-American aviators ever trained by the U.S. Air Force. Formed in 1940, the historic unit had to be stationed at a base on the campus of the Tuskegee Institute in Macon County, Alabama, since the Armed Forces were still racially segregated at the time of its creation.

Even after America entered World War II, the government initially remained reluctant to deploy these pioneering pilots overseas, out of a concern that the presence of black officers in the midst of white soldiers might have a negative effect on military morale. Consequently, the Tuskegee Airmen languished stateside for several years, seeing no action until they were finally cleared for combat in the European theater of operations.

Upon arriving in Italy, their 2nd rate aircraft were upgraded from junky jalopies to state-of-the-art, P-51 Mustang fighter planes, thereby enabling them to escort B-17 bombers on dangerous raids behind enemy lines deep into Germany territory. The untested pilots proceeded to perform admirably on over 1,500 successful missions, demonstrating an unexpected combination of competence and valor in the process.

Red Tails is an eye-popping, special-f/x driven adventure which recreates these belatedly-appreciated veterans’ daring exploits in the skies, while chronicling their simultaneous, uncompromising quest for dignity in the face of the incessant humiliation mandated by Jim Crow. The movie marks the feature film debut of Anthony Hemingway, who is previously best known for having shot episodes of a host of TV series, including The Wire, True Blood, Treme, The Closer, and CSI: NY.

The picture was produced by Lucasfilm where it has been a pet project of the studio’s legendary founder, George Lucas, for the past quarter-century. And it features an ensemble cast topped by Academy Award-winner Cuba “Show me the money!” Gooding (for Jerry Maguire) and Oscar-nominee Terrence Howard (for Hustle & Flow).

Aside from raising the question of the arbitrary color line, the plot reads like a typical, cliché-ridden war flick revolving around a tight-knit, motley crew of colorful characters. Each is based on a simplistically-drawn archetype, like the ill-fated pilot you know isn’t long for this world the moment he’s shown sitting in his cockpit gazing fondly at a picture of his fiancée right before takeoff.

Another familiar figure is the cigar-chomping Major (Gooding), a paternalistic pontificator given to delivering inspirational speeches about God, mom and apple pie. He cares about each of the men under his command, including alcoholic “Easy” Julian (Parker); daredevil “Lightning” Little (David Oyelowo); class clown “Joker” George (Elijah Kelley); and “Junior” Gannon (Tristan Wilds), a youngster who yearns to be taken seriously by his teasing colleagues.

Meanwhile, back at the Pentagon, we find exasperated Colonel A.J. Bullard (Howard) tirelessly lobbying the military brass to put an end to racial discrimination in the ranks. In the end, the film proves more memorable for its eye-popping, action sequences than for its corny dialogue which ranges from  preachy (“We’re on the side of God Almighty!”) to trite poster-speak (Let’s give those newspapers something to write about!).

Nonetheless, Red Tails amounts to a worthy, overdue tribute to a group of intrepid, World War II heroes who never let their second-class status diminish their patriotism even one iota.

 

Very Good (3 stars)

Rated PG-13 for violence and profanity.

Running time: 125 minutes

Distributor: 20th Century Fox

To see a trailer for Red Tails, visit: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BpA6TC0T_Lw

To see a trailer for the picture’s companion documentary, Double Victory, visit:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HBuxFuOCCCA&feature=related

Last Updated on Monday, 27 August 2012 16:15  

SIGN UP FOR OUR NEW NEWSLETTER!

The One People's Project Newsletter will lauch January 2015! It will keep you abreast of all the events, alerts and other news involving OPP and the work we do! To sign up, click here!

SOCIAL NETWORK

FacebookYoutubeTwitterVimeoReddit

DONATE!!!

We can't do this without your support. If you have time, please help by donating $1, $5, $10, $1 million...

 



Due to the closing of the Brecht Forum, we cannot accept checks or money orders at this time. Although we expect to resolve this shortly, we will not be able to make any donations tax deductable for the time being. We apologize for the inconvience.

Support One People's Project at Go Fund Me!

 

 

Banner

Erasing Hate

LATEST ALERTS AND EVENTS

Sat Sep 13 @12:00AM - 11:59PM
1ST ANNUAL TORCH NETWORK CONFERENCE

CONTACT US

ONE PEOPLE'S PROJECT
POB 42817
Philadelphia, PA
19101
Phone: (215) 501-7958

Daryle Lamont Jenkins
Founder, Spokesperson

WANTED

We are looking for white power propaganda and materials, old and new, to help our work. Some folks out there have items like this lying around, collecting dust and taking up space. Don't throw it out, send it to us. We can use it. If you wish to donate 'zines, CDs, videos, clothing, photos, documents or other related items, feel free to send them our way. All items will be received on a confidential basis.

FAIR USE NOTICE

This site may contain copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

The One People's Project provides this information to help understand who we are dealing with, strongly condemns any unlawful act perpetuated against any person, and discourages its visitors that believe in fighting racism not to be like much of the scum you see on this website. Remember: We have the upper hand. They don't.