JACKIE ROBINSON REVIEWED
“Jackie Robinson” is a loving documentary cut by the Ken Burns teams. Following one of the greatest baseball players of the immediate post WWII era, we see far past what “42” could cover. The Jackie Robinson of this documentary is a realized freedom fighter that saw injustice and an indifferent America. Beset by criticism on all sides, Robinson stood up to the public and dared them to move to the side of compassion. Then, he retired from the MLB in the late 1950s.
From there, Robinson’s time was split between aiding MLK’s cause and supporting African Americans daring to change the face of politics. It’s one thing to be an activist and another to be active. Robinson chose to be active and dared his family, contemporaries and country to challenge what they could do. A great deal of the documentary comes from the testimony of Robinson’s 90 year old widow and his kids. What could’ve easily been a propped up tale of Sainthood turns into a portrait of a figure that dealt with a lot of grief.
Hell, the guy nearly got tossed into military prison for standing up to a civilian bus driver while in the Army. Somewhere between Keith David’s masterful narration and Jamie Foxx bringing Jackie Robinson’s words to life, something powerful happens. The audience gets to experience a life well lived and defined by its own terms. This might be the best Burns’ documentary since “The War”.
A/V QUALITY STATS
- 1.78:1 1080i transfer
- Dolby Digital 2.0