Malcolm X. 1992. USA. Directed by Spike Lee. With Denzel Washington, Angela Bassett, Albert Hall, Al Freeman, Jr., Delroy Lindo, Lee. 35mm. 201 min.
This decades-spanning epic charts the life of Macolm X (Denzel Washington, in a career best) from nightclub-hopping, hard partying Boston youth to incarcerated convert to the Nation of Islam to national leader in the fight for Black liberation. Despite its scale and breadth, the film never loses connection with the internal moments driving the ever-evolving Malcolm X. This final collaboration between the powerhouse group of director Spike Lee, cinematographer Ernest Dickerson, costume designer Ruth E. Carter, and production designer Wynn Thomas (before Dickerson would move on to become a director in his own right) captures their talent at its absolute best and most precise. From re-creating Harlem’s 125th street to Boston's Roseland Ballroom, Thomas manages to make the epic personal.