With the release of the movie Red Tails finally here, you may have noticed that I haven't said anything about the film since many of us first heard about it back at Oshkosh in July. I've got a range of thoughts on this project, but the bottom line is I hope we'll all go see it as a way of paying tribute to the Tuskegee Airmen, and to George Lucas for making the film. I know I'm planning to see it this weekend.
I think the real story of the Tuskegee Airmen is amazing... that these black men, who were experiencing a significant amount of racial discrimination in America, were determined to push thru that to fight for the nation. It's a truly remarkable story. Being willing to put their lives on the line for a nation that still didn't treat them anywhere near an equal. Most of us can't really even imagine being in such a situation.
But I sensed from the first movie trailer that I saw that this project wasn't going to provide us the kind of epic movie experience that these courageous men deserve. And of course I can't really say for sure since I haven't actually seen the film, but even George Lucas has said that he wanted the movie to be inspirational to teenage boys, so you can see why the movie leans far more toward Star Wars than it does toward an accurate and gritty portrayal of men fighting both the enemy, and the prejudice of their own country.
Personally, I believe there is only one human race. We are all the same, right down to our very core. God really did create us equal. So to me, the idea that someone would discriminate against another based on the color of their skin seems to border on insane. But obviously, humans have a long history with this form of insanity.
Ultimately, I'm impressed with George Lucas for making this movie, even if I don't think it does all that it should. He has made it clear that the movie studios had no interest in getting behind the project, and he has personally financed it to bring it to us. Even after it was made and he hoped they would invest in promoting the film, he still had to go it alone. So it's with the incredible history of the real Tuskegee Airmen, and the courage and investment of George Lucas to bring this story (at least in some form) to the masses that I hope we will all go see the movie as a very small way of saying: Thank You.