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The “Malcolm X” Essay (Movie Review)

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Updated: Jun 19th, 2019

Malcolm X is an American movie about celebrating the lives of sorrow and street prison and changing the situation for a better future. The biography of the activist Malcolm X reflects on the power to change one’s life without considering fate.

The film is very inspirational as well as educative in that it gives an insight of identity along with life’s lessons. In addition, the film is entertaining and makes the audience stay alert to capture all the happenings in a dynamic manner. Malcolm was born of a minister who advocated the beliefs of Marcus, an African-American chief (Ebert par. 1-4).

Malcolm’s father taught him that white America would not accept black people in the society thereby taking the belief that they had no hope in America. Malcolm, however, went against this conception to teach that people would change their way of thinking and embrace change for the better.

The film demonstrates Malcolm X’s living in various perspectives. At one time, he is demonstrated as a criminal for joining several groupings. Negative events in the occurrence include the death of Malcolm’s father together with his mother’s mental illness, which are traumatizing.

A number of flashbacks remind him of experiences with racism hence raising questions on whether people are one. The film begins while an American flag is being consumed by fire, which might signify the end of American nightmares as the flag becomes letter X (Ebert par. 5-8). In the early opening, there are war cases and various criminal activities that signify poor standards of living as people struggle to make money.

Violent actions in the nation victimized Malcolm X. The activist remembers how their house was burned and left his mother with no other choice rather than taking him to a foster home. His survival in such harsh conditions teaches us that life is more than we perceive it thus motivating change as a means to better lives. Malcolm was the brightest student in his class later led astray by the white teachers who encouraged working with hands. In his early working experiences, he engaged in minor gangster activities.

The movie quotes Malcolm as having had one-year imprisonment for burglary plus seven years due to his association with white women. Prison can be said to have changed him greatly when he joined the Muslim movement and learned to respect everyone (Ebert par. 9-15). This is followed by street preaching, an aspect that turns Malcolm to be the most charismatic figure in the Black Muslims movement. He teaches that the whites are evil hence Blacks need to awaken and be self-reliant.

His acceptance by Muslims after visiting a sacred place in Mecca gives him hope that diverse social settings can work together. The film demonstrates that there is hope in trusting people of different races, which encourages one to fight for rights, whether in native or intercultural settings. Early stages of the movie depict Malcolm as persuasive, but he later becomes courageous and self-confident.

The working together with Elijah Muhammad shows enhanced prominence and order. Malcolm is pitiful of his fellow gang member, Archie, having learned that he was living a destitute life characterized by pain and suffering (Ebert par. 16-18). He vows to help Archie out of his mental problems, a sign of love also featured in his relationship with Betty. The movie ends with a black teacher in an American class, a symbol of change, hope, and tolerance.

Works Cited

Ebert, Roger. Malcolm X, 2013. Web. <>.

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1. IvyPanda. "The "Malcolm X"." June 19, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/malcolm-x-2/.


IvyPanda. "The "Malcolm X"." June 19, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/malcolm-x-2/.


IvyPanda. 2019. "The "Malcolm X"." June 19, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/malcolm-x-2/.


IvyPanda. (2019) 'The "Malcolm X"'. 19 June.

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