Parents' Guide to

Because They Believed

By Andrea Beach, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 13+

Historical sports docu about lived experiences with racism.

Movie NR 2024 101 minutes
Because They Believed movie poster: Against a large blue sky and small green playing field, small silhouetted figures play various sports with a large, central figure standing with one fist raised above his head

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

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This long, well-intentioned sports documentary contains a wealth of history, invaluably told by the people who lived and changed it. Unfortunately, Because They Believed is a little too stiff to forge a real emotional connection with viewers, or to really invite them into the moments of hardship and triumph. People are interviewed with one camera that doesn't move, often in public settings with distracting background activity and off-camera noises.

Many people's experiences are similar, but including so many of them becomes repetitive instead of adding emotional impact. A couple of segments are much longer than the others, but while the topics are interesting, neither are more dynamic or impactful than the rest of the movie. A narrator who introduces each athlete voicing over archival photos and footage adds little enthusiasm. Still, this is a fine starting point for older kids to learn about the racist barriers many top athletes had to overcome.

Movie Details

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