One Night in Miami which is inspired by a real-life 1964 meeting of friends Cassius Clay, Malcolm X, Jim Brown and Sam Cooke. Regina King and the stars of her feature directorial debut was one of the screenings in the Venice Film Festival.
The storyline is made up of the events that take place in the night that Clay before converting to Muhammad Ali defeated Sonny Liston to get the titile of World Heavyweight Boxing Champion. He goes to Hampton house Motel in one of the Miam’s Historically Black neighbourhoods; he celebrates his victory with his three close friends. The story has originated through a playwright and screenwriter Kemp Powers (Soul), who has the imagination and passion for the topical conversation between the men.
Director King noted, “For black Americans, unfortunately, those conversations were happening 60 years ago and are also happening now. When we started filming it, did we know that we’d be in this powder keg moment that we’re in right now? Absolutely not. But the conversations were relevant. It feels like one of those things where it was meant to be, even though our intention was not to have it happen when an uprising is going on in our country.”
The team realised that after the killing of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery, they knew that this needs to happen now, this needs to come out now. The director is hopeful to see the release of the film. King is a black female director and asked about the challenges in the industry, she said, “That’s how things seem to work. If a woman gets a shot and does not succeed, it shuts things down for years to come. I am so grateful for our film to be part of the festival, but I really, really want it to perform well. There’s so much talent out there. So if One Night In Miami gets it done here you’ll get to see a lot more of us.”
She said, The film offers an “exploration and a celebration” of the men as they navigate their own paths in life, but “the thing they have in common — no matter how much money they have or don’t have, what their backgrounds are — they are black men.”