Directed by Denzel Washington himself, The Great Debater is a drama inspired by a true story set at all-black College in Texas, back in 1930s. Both Denzel Washington ( The Hurricane, Malcom X ) and Forest Whitaker ( Panic Room, Phenomenon ), gave an equally powerful performance in portraying two characters different- approach towards racism that the African American faced, back in that era. The film is also starring Kimberly Elise ( Diary of a Mad Black Woman ), Jurnee Smollett ( Beautiful Joe ) and Nate Parker ( Dirty ).
Co-produced by Oprah Winfrey, the day-time talk show Queen, the film was released at the end of December 2007.
Professor Melvin Tolson
(Denzel Washington) is an activist and organizer who is also a debate team coach at his school, a small African American College in Marshall, Texas. He believes and empowers his students in the use of positive achievement as a form of non-violent resistance. He teaches them on how to use their logic and argument to make a point of their ideas and thoughts. Professor Tolson’s unconventional teaching methods and radical political views have given him a reputation as a controversial figure. With a great determination, he has successfully turned a group of underdog students into a historically elite debate team in America. They won a few series of debate championships, which has landed them an invitation to debate against the Harvard University’s championship team.
is a two-time Academy award winner from his performance in Training Day
( Best Actor - 2001 ) and Glory
( Best Supporting Actor – 1989 ).
was awarded the Best Actor in the 79th Annual Academy Awards (2006), for his highly acclaimed portrayal of the notorious Ugandan dictator, Idi Amin,
in The last King of Scotland