It is one of the most iconic images of our time: two African-American medal winners at the 1968 Olympics standing in silent protest with heads bowed and fists raised as “The Star Spangled Banner” is played. Fifty years later, that singular event remains deeply inspiring, controversial and even misunderstood as one of the most overtly political statement in the annals of sport. The Stand: How One Gesture Shook the World is a revealing exploration into the circumstances that led runners Tommie Smith and John Carlos to that historic moment at the Mexico City Games, mining the great personal risks they took and the subsequent fallout they endured. Through intimate interviews with the participants and witnesses involved in that moment, along with compelling images and archive, the film explores the 1968 Olympics human rights stand in the context of a critically important and volatile time for the U.S. Civil Rights Movement. While the film documents this lasting moment in American history, The Stand also remains faithful to what was, for athletes and millions of Olympic fans around the world, a riveting 200-meter footrace between the fastest runners of the day, young people in their athletic prime striving to be the best on one October day in Mexico City.
Tommie Smith: 1968 Olympic 200m gold medalist
John Carlos: 1968 Olympic 200m bronze medalist
Harry Edwards: activist and mentor
Ralph Boston: 1968 Olympic team member
Mel Pender: 1968 Olympic team member
Paul Hoffman: 1968 Olympic team member
Cleve Livingston: 1968 Olympic team member
Patty VanWolvelaere: 1968 Olympic team member
Edwin Roberts: 1968 Olympic 200m finalist
Larry Quested: 1968 Olympic 200m finalist
Tom Farrell: 1968 Olympic team member
Richard Lapchick: activist and historian
Brian Meeks: Chair, Department of Africana Studies, Brown University
Francoise Hamlin: Associate Professor in History and Africana Studies, Brown University
From the makers of “Bannister: Everest on the Track,” named by Indiewire as one of the best sports documentaries of all time.