A Reaction to ‘The Making of the Hurricane’



Course Instructor


A Reaction to ‘The Making of the Hurricane’

This bonus documentary is about the views of different people involved in the creation of the movie “The Hurricane.” The people involved include the movie director, the movie producer, and part of the cast. Norman Jewison is the director of the movie, and in this bonus documentary, he talks about the motivation behind the production of the movie. He also discusses the theme of the movie, which he claims is about the social conditions of people. During his explanation, a few scenes from the movie are featured. The producer of the movie, Armyan Bernstein, also talks about the circumstances surrounding the production of this movie. This includes the circumstances leading to their contact and liaise with Rubin Carter, on whom the movie bases. Rubin Carter, whose life story is the center of the movie, also features in this bonus documentary.  He appreciates how the movie crew considered popularising his life story, and considers this an honour. This exposed him to great people, including Denzel Washington. He finds this mind-boggling. He compares himself to Denzel, because they are both hardworking. Similarly, the producer, and Deborah Kara, an actress in the movie, also praise Denzel for his acting prowess and commitment to the movie production.

The bonus documentary makes different points. First, it makes one realize that the real movie is not fictional, but is based on a real life experience. The people in this documentary provide an evidence of this by talking about the coming to be of the movie. For instance, when they feature Rubin Carter himself, and have him give his testimony about his life, and how the movie will change is life further, is proof enough that this movie bases on a past event that happened in Rubin Carter’s life. In addition, Lesra Martin gives an account of how he interacted with Rubin while still in prison, and how he participated in Rubin’s release. Therefore, this bonus documentary clarifies the nature of the movie, noting that the movie bases on a real life personal experience.

This bonus documentary also emphasizes the fact that it was really involving and demanding to develop the movie. It took the commitment and dedication of the crew to ensure that the movie was a success. In this case, a lot of credit is given to Denzel Washington. Since he was the one that would play the role of the main character, which is Rubin Carter, he was charged with having to learn boxing, since Rubin had taken on professional boxing, as a career. Denzel exercised this for one year, after which he could engage in boxing comfortably. Apart from Denzel, other actors also put in more efforts. In the making of the movie, the whole crew liaised with Rubin, while he was still in prison. This was demanding and required dedication. Probably, this is why this movie became influential.

Finally, this movie proves that there exists injustices in the world, including the criminal systems, which are supposed to be just. Close to the end of this bonus documentary, the producer admits that the movie attempts to unravel the injustices in the world. This is through its basing on the life of Rubin Carter, a fighter with promise, who was incarcerated for something he did not do. The producer argues that injustices are existent in society, and these include racism, political injustices, among many other forms. Carter himself adds that the movie is based on redemption, specifically his redemption. He also notes that the movie is meant to inspire people in overcoming adversity in life. All this roots from the injustices that Carter had to undergo in his life.  According to Carter, his rescue from the hands of injustice was a complete miracle. Similarly, another actress in the movie notes that injustices in society have persisted in various spheres, but the human spirit is strong enough to endure them. She considered Carter strong-hearted, because he underwent all that, and still manages to smile. Therefore, by basing on the life of Rubin Carter, this documentary proves that injustice is real in the world.

From this documentary, I have learnt new things about the whole issue surrounding Rubin Carter and generally, his life. Although the past events in Rubin’s life are quite known by different people, this documentary has revealed to me some surprising facts. First, I am surprised that in the process of shooting the movie, the crew kept in close contact with Rubin Carter. They would go see him in prison, concerning various aspects in the progress of the movie. It is also surprising that Lehri Martin met Rubin Carter for the first time, when he was 15 years old, and had visited him in prison. The circumstances that led to their meeting are also impressive if not surprising. While it is known that Rubin had received many letters from different people, while he was in prison, he did not open most of them. However, it was coincidental that he opened one, which was written by the 15-year-old Martin Lehri. This had marked the beginning of their relationship, as years later, Martin got involved in the process of Rubin’s release from prison, and here, he features in the movie about Rubin’s life.

From this documentary, I consider the movie meaningful in society. All the testimonies shared by those involved in this movie points out that the movie is inspirational. This is because it focuses on the story of a man, who faced many injustices, but did not give up hope. His hope, strength, and endurance, finally helped him get the justice that he deserved. I consider this movie as being capable of giving hope to those who are on the verge of losing hope in various situations. Rubin held on and finally got through his adversities. Therefore, this can happen to anyone, as long as they are enduring.

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