“The Best of Enemies” tells the true story of a summit that took place in 1971 in Durham, North Carolina to decide if the city’s public schools should be integrated. It focuses on the relationship between Ann Atwater, an outspoken civil rights activist, and C.P. Ellis, a local Ku Klux Klan leader. Throughout the film, the viewer gets to learn about each person’s background and see their feelings toward the other group. In this way, “The Best of Enemies” gives an inside look at segregation issues told from a perspective I had not seen before.
I enjoyed seeing the relationship between Atwater and Ellis develop and how they both changed to understand each other more by the end of the film. The movie shows Ellis as a human and makes the audience care about him despite the fact that he’s a member of the KKK, which is definitely one of its strengths. We are able to see the change Ellis goes through that makes him grow as a person; however I wish we had gotten more . While I enjoyed their internal changes, the character’s development seemed a little fast and I would have liked to see more of the motivation behind their actions.
The plot was very story focused and did not have a lot of action, which is what I expected from the movie, but made it move a little slowly. Because of this the plot needed to be really strong, and while it was heartwarming, it wasn’t exactly the most exciting story, I still enjoyed the movie and its overall message—however, it is not a film that will stick with me or that I will watch again.