Regina King’s directorial debut ‘One Night in Miami’ is a movie that inserts esteemed personalities Muhammad Ali, Malcolm X, Jim Brown, and Sam Cooke in a fictional conversation. After Ali (Eli Goree) beats Sonny Liston (Aaron D. Alexander) to win a heavyweight championship, all four of them gather in a Miami hotel room. They then have conversations about life, which slowly escalate into intense discussions surrounding the Civil Rights Movement. Each of them establishes the significant roles they have played in the fight against persecution and racism.
The movie thereby is a journey on politics through the eyes of the four protagonists. When the Civil Rights Movement took off in 1954, the black community, to an extent, found support and solace. But the concept of white supremacy latched on, and fights ensued. The preserved accounts of these fights have likewise been immortalized through their portrayal in cinema. Here is a list of other movies built on the same premise. You can watch a few of these movies similar to ‘One Night in Miami’ on Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime.
6. Freedom Riders (2010)
‘Freedom Riders’ is a historical documentary that features real-life accounts of hundreds of civil rights activists. They were arduously involved in reasserting equal rights in public places, as they stormed into waiting lines in restaurants and occupied seats on buses. The riders were a physically tough group that believed in establishing equality through coercion.
‘One Night in Miami’ stages four renowned personalities, engaging in a discussion against racial segregation as they talk about their roles in the Civil Rights Movement. The only difference between the movies is the latter’s vivid cinematic portrayal of those stories in contrast to ‘One Night in Miami’s subdued recollection of the same within four walls.
5. BlacKkKlansman (2018)
Set in the 1970s, ‘BlacKkKlansman’ brilliantly portrays the massive takedown of a local Ku Klux Klan establishment in Colorado Springs. Ron Stallworth (John David Washington), the first African-American detective in the city’s police department, heads the mission. He poses as a white person in a telephonic call placed to the KKK division, and shortly after, gains access to the group. Ku Klux Klan, an epitome of racism and xenophobia, is one reason why the Civil Rights Movement suffered through the years it survived. ‘One Night in Miami’ talks about the fight against the oppression that soaked in more power with KKK’s influence.
4. I Am Not Your Negro (2016)
‘I Am Not Your Negro’ finds its voice through Samuel L. Jackson, who narrates this 93-minute long documentary based on an incomplete manuscript by James Baldwin. It is a memoir that cherishes the heroic lives of Civil Rights leaders Malcolm X, Martin Luther King Jr., and Medgar Evers. The movie documents their contribution to the movement, which is not very different from ‘One Night in Miami’. Every character bound by the hotel room has their own story of struggle to share.
3. Soundtrack for a Revolution (2009)
‘Soundtrack for a Revolution’ draws in a unique perspective based on the Civil Rights Movement during the 1950s and 60s. It narrates the struggle through symphonies of rhythm and tune that actually took place during real-life demonstrations conducted by protestors. The documentary film includes archival footage from the protests and sit-ins. Different songs tell different stories, all of which significantly uplift the movement. It adopts a unique perspective in relaying the story told and heard by millions. ‘One Night in Miami’ uses a similar theme but unfurls through intellectual discourse.
2. Malcolm X (1992)
Malcolm X, a prominent leader in the Civil Rights Movement, is known for this bold undertakings in favor of human rights. He believed in crushing the oppressive methods inflicted by the enemy through the power of the force. The movie delineates his real-life accounts that stand in sheer contrast to Martin Luther King’s non-violent approach. It further highlights his journey through crime and subsequent incarceration.
The movie essays his life history through a recollection of the most monumental moments in the movement. Although hypothetical, ‘One Night in Miami’ sketches an outrageously accurate depiction of the real-life heroes the characters are based upon. Their participation and role, although not powered by violence, stands significant and refreshingly poignant.
1. All the Way (2016)
‘All the Way’ is predominantly based on the politics that revolved around America when the fight for civil rights in favor of the black community ensued. It is a deviation from the physical manifestations of the protest that unloaded itself on the streets and various public places. Martin Luther King (Anthony Mackie) coaxes Lyndon B. Johnson (Bryan Cranston), the 36th President of the United States of America, to regulate the Civil Rights Act free of amendments. However, King meets opposition from every corner.
‘All the Way’ is a collection of events encircling the political front during the cultural chaos that took over the country in the 60s. The movie showcases manipulative tactics and schemes conjured behind closed doors of the administration. It is comparable to the political discourses that feature in ‘One Night in Miami,’ where opinions are exchanged and sentiments are expressed.
Read More: Where Was One Night in Miami Filmed?