by Anthony Morris
Everyone knows the iconic photo of the two
African-American athletes on the winner's podium at the 1968 Mexico
City Olympics raising their fists in a black power salute.
What you may not know is that the third (white) man on that podium was
Australian sprinter Peter Norman, and this documentary, made by Peter's
nephew Matt Norman, tells his story.
is an engaging and well-paced mix of history lesson (vital to explain
the racially charged atmosphere surrounding the Men's 200 meter sprint
finals), sports drama, and personal history.
Peter himself retells much of the story, and while the many interviews
with the two other runners, Tommie Smith and John Carlos, are
occasionally of rough quality (they were initially done as background
material for a dramatization), the power and humour of what they say
comes through clear.
It's soon obvious that -
A): Peter was very much part of the protest alongside Smith and Carlos;
B): Everyone on that podium paid a heavy toll career-wise for speaking
The two black athlete's running careers were over the second they were
sent home from the Games, and Peter (who died in 2006) never ran for
Australia again, despite holding the 200 meter Commonwealth record to
By telling his
story in a concise, informative and powerful way, this film is a
fitting tribute to his life.
Australian release: 17th July,
Cast: Christopher Kirby
Director: Matt Norman
To You By It's Better In The Dark