GRAND PRIZE WINNER: ANTHEM FILM FESTIVAL
Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas tells his life story, from poverty to the pinnacle of judicial power. [ Created Equal: Clarence Thomas In His Own Words credits: Dir: Michael Pack/ 116 min/ Documentary/ Law & Liberty, Libertarian Heroes/ USA/ 2020]
“This is not the story of an ordinary man — his is a hero’s journey from very humble roots through seemingly insurmountable obstacles to the pinnacle of judicial power. His journey is also ours, inasmuch as his story is emblematic of what makes this country great.”
Did you know Clarence Thomas is a fan of Ayn Rand, with decided libertarian leanings? I didn’t, before watching this fascinating biography. I’ve always admired him, but Created Equal gave me even more reasons to thank heaven that Clarence Thomas is on the Supreme Court.
Interwoven with photos, video clips and interviews, Thomas tells his inspiring story — of humble beginnings, of the strict grandfather who raised him and gave him his moral compass, of his intellectual wanderings from orthodox Catholicism, to radical Marxism, and finally to now famed conservatarian principles. He nearly didn’t make it to this happy end.
He tells of a turning point in his life, a low point, when he questioned life’s meaning and purpose. He asked himself: “Is there something in life you would die for?” And in this moment of reflection, he decided then that he would dedicate himself to the principles that made America what it is. Thus was born the greatest living defender of the Constitution now sitting on the Supreme Court.
It’s no wonder the Left has done so much to try to destroy him. He didn’t just pick up the ideals of individualism and human liberty from a book. He’s been through hell and back and learned their significance first-hand — and so become the embodiment of them; he’s part Horatio Alger, part Atticus Finch, and part Howard Roark. Libertarians will find his story touching and inspiring.
I was frankly skeptical that a two-hour biography based largely on an interview could hold my attention, but this is not the story of an ordinary man — his is a hero’s journey from very humble roots through seemingly insurmountable obstacles to the pinnacle of judicial power. His journey is also ours, inasmuch as his story is emblematic of what makes this country great.
“At the preview I attended last week, the audience was moved to tears, laughter and a standing ovation…Created Equal is the story of one exceptional American, but it’s also a story about America, a still-exceptional nation, one that, for all its many faults, provides unparalleled opportunity for those willing to work hard to overcome whatever and whomever they find in their way. Americans, wherever they stand politically, should be proud of that.”
“Thomas may be the most famously silent public figure since Calvin Coolidge. But he has much to say in Michael Pack’s excellent documentary Created Equal: Clarence Thomas in His Own Words, a measure of long-delayed redress for Thomas’s reputation.”
How to See It
“‘I felt as though in my life I had been looking at the wrong people as the people who would be problematic toward me,’ Thomas says in the film Created Equal: Clarence Thomas in His Own Words, according to ABC News. ‘We were told that, ‘Oh, it’s gonna be the bigot in the pickup truck; it’s gonna be the Klansman; it’s gonna be the rural sheriff.’ But it turned out that through all of that, ultimately the biggest impediment was the modern-day liberal.’”
—New York Post
“‘There’s different sets of rules for different people,’ Justice Thomas said in the film’s trailer. ‘If you criticize a black person who’s more liberal, you’re a racist. Whereas you can do whatever to me, or to now [HUD Secretary] Ben Carson, and that’s fine, because you’re not really black because you’re not doing what we expect black people to do.’”
“Drawing on a rich array of historical archive material, period and original music, personal photos, and evocative recreations, Justice Thomas, unscripted, takes the viewer through his complex and often painful life, dealing with race, faith, power, jurisprudence, and personal resilience.”