A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Positive themes of perseverance, courage, advocacy, and following your dreams.
Positive Role Models
Arthur Ashe gracefully and powerfully navigates prejudice toward himself and others.
Ashe is the only Black man to win the singles tennis title at Wimbledon, the U.S. Open, and the Australian Open. Interviewees include friends, family, and tennis professionals who vary in gender, ethnicity, and age.
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Violence & Scariness
Discussion of Emmett Till's murder and graphic footage of racist violence against Black people by White civilians and police officers.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
One scene takes place at The Playboy Club in Los Angeles, where female servers wear leotards and bunny ears.
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Occasional use of the "N" word.
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Adults are occasionally shown drinking and smoking cigarettes.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Citizen Ashe is an inspiring, informative documentary about tennis champion/civil rights activist Arthur Ashe. Ashe was the only Black man to win the singles title at Wimbledon, the U.S. Open, and the Australian Open. He also navigated the Tennis Country Club scene in the 1950s and '60s -- which was, as the movie puts it, "all White everything." The movie addresses the discrimination he faced and his role as an influential public figure in the fight for civil rights, as well as his HIV diagnosis and subsequent advocacy for AIDS-related research and public education about HIV. Mature content includes use of the "N" word, discussion of Emmett Till's murder, graphic archival footage of racist violence against Black people by White civilians and police officers, occasional cigarette smoking and drinking, and a scene at The Playboy Club in Los Angeles, where female servers wear leotards and bunny ears. Through it all, Ashe gracefully navigates prejudices toward himself and others, modeling perseverance, courage, advocacy, and the power of following your dreams. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Citizen Ashe s informative and inspiring, albeit sometimes slow-moving. Miller and Pollard intersperse footage of Ashe's tennis tournaments, press interviews, and training sequences with photos and abstract reenactments of his childhood. Interviewees include friends, family, and other sports figures who add detail and color to Ashe's story. Much of the film centers on Ashe's activism -- his identity as a Black man and his fight for civil rights and AIDS-related research. Less of the film details the brilliance behind his tennis game, apart from a sequence about Ashe's Wimbledon win against Jimmy Connors. His mindset and strategy in winning that match prove a thrilling and interesting insight.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.