Remember the Titans
Based on a true story, “Remember the Titans” is set in Virginia, where in 1971 high school football was everything to the people of Alexandria. But when the local school board was forced to integrate an all-black school with an all-white school, the very foundation of football’s great tradition was put to the test. Herman Boone (Denzel Washington), a young black coach new to the community, was hired as head coach of the T.C. Williams High Titans over Bill Yoast, a white man with several years seniority, a steadfast following and a tradition of winning. As the two men learned to work together, they found they had much more than football in common. Both were men of integrity and honor, with a strong work ethic.
Although from vastly different backgrounds, these two coaches not only molded a group of angry, unfocused boys into a dynamic, winning team, but also helped guide them into becoming responsible young men. Their determination to work together and win brought together a town torn apart by prejudice and intolerance.
Well hurray for Hollywood! At last – here’s a story about overcoming bigotry told without profanity, exploitive sex or excessive violence. What’s more, it’s downright entertaining. Movie-goers have become jaded by the ever-present coarsities including rude language, gestures and gross bodily functions that are found in many of today’s sports flicks. I don’t think anyone will leave the theater saying, “I didn’t like that film because no one flatulated.” The film stands on the merits of good storytelling, a dependable performance from its star, and several very funny moments. What the writer, producer, director and star have done here is remind fellow moviemakers that any subject can be addressed without bombarding the ticket holder with gratuitous or dim-witted offenses. If a film is done right, no one is going to leave the theater let down by its wholesomeness.
I am pleased to tell you that one of the athletes is a Christian – and he is not mocked for his beliefs. He even has an effect on his fellow teammates. Scripture is quoted in a respectful tone. After a big game, one of his friends puts a Bible verse to song, with the other players repeating the lyric. “…those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles…”
The script does contain a few racial epithets, but they are used to point out ignorance and frustration. Also, to stun a bigoted fellow teammate, the new quarterback kisses him in front of everybody. I think he was just messing with the guy’s head. Whatever the reason, the film does not promote sexual activity. “Remember the Titans” is about overcoming ignorance and hatred. I suppose if you looked hard enough you could find something that is in conflict with your own personal view of biblical teaching, but we approve of this film because it represents a concerted effort to tell an uplifting story without the usual ratio of obscene and profane material. If that sounds like a Hallmark card commercial, well, what’s wrong with leaving the theater feeling hopeful and satisfied? Isn’t that the purpose of art – to uplift the spirit of man?