The Best of Enemies is a film that explores the nuances of discovering the truth of pain. But to understand this, you have to place yourself in two real-life scenarios to better accept the sappy display of affection that each character demonstrated throughout. Sappy is used as a tone to sugar coat the actual state of mind and emotions felt in The Best of Enemies. If it wasn’t a movie, you could imagine the disdain, hurt and rawness each and every individual would have endured from one another living in this era. I mean we are talking about Durham, North Carolina, in the 70s. A place where Blacks are in destitute of quality living, education and overall basic human rights. So, when one stood in solidarity for all, the town became a divided community spewed in hate. It was a clear race division spearheaded by the Invisible Empire and Black folks that reside there.
The Best of Enemies is a riveting tale of triumph told through the experience of one woman’s prowess to change the heart of this divided town. It’s a visual depiction of David (Ann Atwater) vs. Goliath (The invisible empire) resulting in an uncommon union connected by life’s realities. Proving that resiliency starts with healing.
Ann Atwater, played by the astonishing Taraji P. Henson, rallied for the voiceless. The voice of the people who were fed up with the burdens of their overwhelming living conditions as Black people. She too suffered by the hands of her community that she desperately fought for. She knew the hurt and disparities first-hand and because of this, the battle becomes personal. While, CP, the leader of the Invisible Empire also known as the Ku Klux Klan found himself in his own personal hell.
It was the reality of knowing that the color of one’s skin doesn’t equate to classism, for a poor white man will always be a poor white man in Durham. And when threatened by the fear of an uprise ignited by integrations, middle-class white Americans depended on their Klansmen to assist with putting the flame out. He was also balancing the financial struggles of caring for a special needs child. Which, ultimately tested his faith in a system and organization that should have made him superior from experiencing the same hurt of any colored.
No one is immune from experiencing pain for the offerings of life, which are shared equally. And once the blinders of racism are removed the dream of a better tomorrow becomes obtainable. United we stand and divided we fall.
The Best of Enemies hits theaters tomorrow! Check out the trailer below!