I go to the the movies to laugh and escape, but the last two movies I’ve seen did neither. ‘The Big Short’ upset me after learning how stupid and greedy bankers are. ‘Concussion’ upset me after learning how far the NFL would go to protect their brand.
One reviewer described it like this…
CONCUSSION, demonstrates a pernicious ability by fantastically wealthy organizations to manipulate the media and the government, thereby making this not just a solid, intelligent film about a dedicated doctor, but also a case study in the still precarious position of the whistle-blower in contemporary society.
It wasn’t that I didn’t know ‘Concussion’ was an indictment film on the NFL. I didn’t know the movie was more about Dr. Bennet Omalu than football.
The Dr. Omalu story confused me from the beginning. With all his education and advanced degrees, the movie never answered my question of why he was in such a menial job with all his credentials. However, thanks to that job, he saw something that stimulated his curiosity and deep medical knowhow to discover the previously undiscovered brain disease.
Why did he have to spend his own money to do the research? Why did everyone poo-poo his findings even after agreeing he was right? Why did he remind me of Martin Luther King receiving threatening phone calls to his home? Why’d he get railroaded out of town?
Just like how the Black Lives Matter movement is countered with an All Lives Matter retort, ‘Concussion’ is comparable. Regarding the players, both black and white players are suffering from the brain disease. Regarding the doctor, it’s reasonable to believe that if a white doctor made the same discovery, he’d be hushed up, too. Or would he?
‘Concussion’ reminds us that when people are not treated fairly, especially people of color, it’s too easy to blame racial motivation.