Remember the Titans Directed by Boaz Yakin

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“Remember the Titans,” directed by Boaz Yakin, is set in Alexandria, Virginia in 1971, a time when the first school integration was causing tension between racial groups. The film tackles the theme of overcoming racism and effectively uses techniques such as camera angles, dialogue, and music to evoke a strong emotional response from its audience.

The film begins with tension between the white and black members of the team, as both sides hold stereotypes about one another. The white individuals refuse to associate with the black individuals, calling them “black animals.” Likewise, the black individuals are hesitant to integrate because they don’t trust “your people to be honest.” One scene that highlights this animosity takes place during a football camp where Alan and Petey are made to learn about each other. They sit facing each other like adversaries, with a path dividing them leading to a traditional-style door of Gettysburg College. This door symbolizes the historical division between blacks and whites in America since slavery times. Even in 1971, this division still separates Alan and Petey.

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The combination of a specific camera shot and impersonal, defensive, and suspicious dialogue gives the impression of an interview rather than a friendly conversation between teammates. This emphasizes their lack of understanding about each other’s backgrounds. For instance, one teammate asks, “What’s your daddy’s name? Wait. You do have a daddy, right?…He does have a job?” The use of this camera shot and dialogue creates strong emotions in the audience, making us realize the significant divide between the two races as they strive to overcome differences and unite as a successful football team. As a result, we become aware of the deep-rooted suspicion and defensiveness among black and white players. Additionally, it is disheartening to witness the preconceptions held by the white student about black families.

One of the pivotal moments in the movie occurs during the team’s time at camp. Coach Boone brings the team to the cemetery which was the site of the historic battle of Gettysburg. This is where the “Team Talk” technique is employed. Boone gathers the students and delivers a powerful message, stating that if they do not unite at this sacred location, they too will meet failure. The use of a high angle shot enhances Boone’s significance to the team’s destiny and triumph. Furthermore, this amplifies the impact of his words. These two techniques are coupled with the incorporation of the Titans Theme music, creating a powerful and cohesive effect.

This symphony piece is used in other triumphant moments throughout the movie. The symphony, dialogue, and high-angle shot up to Coach Boone create powerful emotions in the audience as they understand the important decision the young players face: to unite and succeed as a team or remain suspicious and break apart. When they finally come together in the next scene, we celebrate their success, feeling the emotion of their triumph in putting differences aside to create a strong “side”.

The use of music is a crucial technique in this film. Throughout the movie, the 1960s pop song “Na, na, na, na/ na, na, na, na/ Hey Hey Hey/ Goodbye” is frequently heard. Firstly, it plays when the team returns from the football camp, united and ready to face any challenges. This song symbolizes their triumph over obstacles. Secondly, it is heard when they achieve their first victory, representing their excitement and dominance. The cheering crowd adds to the celebratory atmosphere. Lastly, during Gary’s funeral, the song is sung as a somber farewell by his former teammates. This rendition conveys a sense of sorrow and respect. The slow and quiet performance evokes deep emotions, leaving us mourning alongside the characters.

The film employs camera angles, music, and dialogue to evoke an emotional response and convey its themes. It effectively depicts the devastation caused by racism while emphasizing that race is inconsequential and can be disregarded for the greater good of humanity. Ultimately, it emphasizes our shared humanity and persuasively communicates the idea that unity can overcome differences to achieve success.

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Remember the Titans Directed by Boaz Yakin. (2016, Oct 30). Retrieved from

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