Visio Divina – Movie (Apple TV/Google Play) – The Best of Enemies

August 2022 – This month’s Visio Divina offering from reviewer Peter Malone msc is THE BEST OF ENEMIES.

Little-known, little seen, but this film repays viewing.  It is a social justice drama, taking place in Durham, North Carolina, 1971.  Yes, a film about racism and civil rights in the aftermath of Martin Luther King.  And the enemies are Tarajji P Hanson’s Ann Atwater, strong-minded, a middle-aged organiser amongst the African-American community and C.P. Ellis, Sam Rockwell, a garage mechanic, head of the local Ku Klux Klan.  Potential enemies, certainly.  The situation is education/segregation and a charrette (a collaborative process to formulate solutions).  The best of enemies clash, racism is rife, but the groups are required to meet for a fortnight by law.  We see Ann and CP in their lives, their clashes, moments of respect, breakthrough in 70s Southern prejudice.  (And the surprising realisation that the two worked for years together combatting racism.)  Some scenes of menace, but this is a drama that can be watched, and discussed, by most audiences.

See the trailer here.