On August 3, 1936, when Jesse Owens, the 22-year-old son of a
sharecropper, entered the Olympic Stadium in Berlin, he was barely able
to control his anger in the face of Nazi racism.
But instead of letting himself be distracted, the young athlete
channeled his raw emotions into one of the most remarkable achievements
in athletic history: four gold medals in two days.
Beginning in the poor Cleveland neighborhood where Owens grew up,
AMERICAN EXPERIENCE details his early career; describes Adolf Hitler s
outsized ambitions for the 1936 Olympics; explores the movement in
Western democracies to boycott the event; and explains the pressures on
Owens to attend.
The film also reveals the unlikely relationship Owens struck up at the
games with his German rival, and explores why, despite his success in
Germany, Owens struggled to find a place for himself in a United States
that was still wrestling with its own deeply entrenched racism.
Release Date: 15 October 2012
Certificate: E - Exempt from Certification