The Best of Enemies is a 2019 American drama film directed by Robin Bissell, based on the true story of civil rights activist Ann Atwater and Klu Klux Klan leader C.P. Ellis. The film stars Taraji P. Henson, Sam Rockwell, Babou Ceesay, Anne Heche and Wes Bentley.
The film is set in Durham, North Carolina in 1971. Ann Atwater tries to better living conditions for black people and is ignored by the all white judging. C.P. Ellis, who has a family and children, is also the president of the KKK. Ann’s daughter’s school burns and it’s unclear whether it was accidental or purposefully done. C.P. fears that the children of that school will be forced to go to the all white schools. Bill Riddick sets up a meeting with both Ellis and Atwater and they start charettes to discuss issues like segregation.
This is a very powerful and moving film. It shows how even after MLK Jr., in the 70’s, there were still problems with the KKK, white supremacy, anti-Semitism and racism. It also shows how people can overcome prejudices and hatred and learn to love who was once their enemy, over coming the odds and righting what is wrong.
Sam Rockwell is outstanding as C.P. Ellis and Taraji P. Henson is equally great as Ann Atwater. They both deserve awards for there portrayals. No one else could have done better jobs as these characters than the two of them. Babou Ceesay does an excellent job as Bill Riddick and Wes Bentley is fine in his role as Floyd Kelly.
This film moved me in anger, sadness and happiness. It is such a powerful film, that I cannot believe it got such bad reviews. It is truly a spectacular film in every way, that to me deserves Oscars, including Best Pic. I’d vote for it in a heartbeat. Not a single dull moment in this wonderful work of art. 18+ 5/5