Joshua (1968)
9/10
Fantastic short film teaches a good lesson
21 July 2018
I'm very surprised that at the time of this writing, there are no reviews or ratings votes for this great short film, "Joshua." I remember seeing this film on television over forty years ago, most likely on some Saturday morning show on channel 13 PBS, which always played educational programs, or maybe in elementary school.

Joshua is a black student who has won an athletic scholarship to a college in Texas, and enjoys one last day in Harlem, mainly hanging out with a girlfriend, and running through Central Park. He watches animals with a young white boy who refers to Joshua as the "n-word" (I'm assuming the IMDB won't allow the full word) without realizing how hurtful the word is. Angry, Joshua runs off and starts a fight with a white teen flying a kite.

Sometimes, when something isn't overdone, it can do a lot more good than if the lesson was hitting you over the head like a hammer. "Joshua" is very simple story about racism that just feels natural, as if the viewer is more of a "fly on the wall" watching something very real unfold.

Joshua himself may not be the smartest guy (he got the scholarship with his running, not his brain) but he is by no means stupid, and he proves to have a lot of common sense. By the time the film ends, you are cheering for him to do well, and you feel he's going to make it in what must be a scary new place outside of his safe haven in New York City.

One of just two pieces of music in the film, the hit song "Cry Like a Baby" by The Box Tops, fits in perfectly and places you right in the late sixties as Joshua enjoys his last day.

It would great if "Joshua" and other films like it from the era can be cleaned up and released. Today's kids can use lessons like the ones this film offers.
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