Director: William Cayden
"I'm Jack Johnson,
I'm black, they never let me forget it
I'm black alright
I'll never let them forget it"
A documentary biography, previously unscreened in Australia, of the first black heavyweight world boxing champion - a fascinating combination of stills, clips, newsreel footage, all supplemented by a classic Miles Davis.
Johnson's life is more twisted, strange and epic than most contemporary fiction. The film is a carefully constructed chronology, ending with his death in 1946.
”Through extensive and superbly rehabilitated early film of Johnson's fights and social hob-nobbing, including an extraordinary 1911 motor race between Johnson and Barney Oldfield, Jacobs' elegant film succeeds in conveying not only the might and Muhammad Ali-style charisma of Johnson the prizefighter, but also the ambivalence of a white American public, confronted with a superhero who is inconveniently black.”
- Clyde Jeavons, David Meeker