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Spike Lee’s ‘Malcolm X’ is a human history drama about the African-American activist Malcolm X. Based on Malcolm X’s Autobiography by Malcolm X and Alex Haley, the 1992 movie depicts the life of Malcolm (Denzel Washington) from his childhood to his teenage years of kidnapping and subsequent development became an African-American activist and influential figure.
In Malcolm’s journey, starting with his rural Michigan family, following his time in Boston, to Mecca, and going through all his years of activism on the streets of Harlem, the movie provides a glimpse of the backyard and backyard that was the life of a famous activist. The variety of places where the recording of ‘Malcolm X’ took place has played an important role in understanding what Malcolm’s life and American history are, and which prompted us to examine it in more detail.
Malcolm X Movie Filming Locations
The recording of ‘Malcolm X’s took place in four countries: the US, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and South Africa. Although Malcolm’s early teens were set up in Boston, director Spike Lee and cinematographer Ernest Dickerson shot those places in Manhattan and Queens, and New York City, which is the main recording studio where most of the story is arranged differently. Movie production took place from September 16, 1991, to January 26, 1992.
New York, Location
Most of the movie is shot in many cities in New York State, especially in New York City. Dudley Street Station at the opening of the movie, actually in Boston, Massachusetts, was shot using trains running New York City in Brooklyn. Malcolm’s childhood home in Nebraska was recorded in the Peekskill area northwest of Westchester County. The burglary in Beacon Hill, Boston, following Malcolm’s return to Harlem, was shot down on Park Avenue, Manhattan.
Two of New York City’s magnificent buildings that have fallen into disrepair, the Hotel Diplomat and the Lenox Lounge, can also be seen in the movie. The interval between Malcolm’s release from prison until his execution is set in a number of prominent places in New York City. Malcolm’s lectures were recorded at Columbia University, and his first day with Betty Shabazz (Angela Bassett) was recorded at the American Museum of Natural History, Manhattan.
The movie’s main march from the police station to the hospital was filmed in Harlem by the well-known Apollo Theater. Malcolm’s assassination was recorded outside the Audobon Ballroom, Manhattan, and internal ammunition was taken from the now-defunct Diplomat Hotel.
In addition, a few shots set in Boston were also shot in the Ridgewood area of Queens. Other locations in New York state that have served as one of Spike Lee’s recordings are Hempstead House and Port Washington in Lond Island, Bushwick in Brooklyn, Lagrangeville in Dutchess County, and Washington Heights and in Central Park West in Manhattan.
Other Places in the US
Outside the state of New York, several ‘Malcolm X’s scenes were shot in the Connecticut and New Jersey provinces. The city of Essex in Middlesex County served as the location for the filming. In addition, East Jersey State Prison, located in the town of Rahway south of Union County, New Jersey, doubled as a Charleston State prison for the movie. A few scenes were also shot in the uninhabited community of Avenel in New Jersey.
Saudi Arabia: Mecca, Location
Considered the holiest city in Islam, Mecca in Saudi Arabia played a key role in the filming of ‘Malcolm X.’ The filming of Mecca was considered impossible because non-Muslims, including Lee, were not allowed inside the city. Lee’s patience earned him permission to record in town. Therefore, the production team hired a second team to do the filming, which made the movie decoration even bigger. The trip to Malcolm in Mecca was surprisingly shot, adding to the quality of the films.
South Africa: Johannesburg, Location
The movie is based in Alexandra and Soweto townships in Johannesburg, South Africa. From a cameo view, Nelson Mandela appears in front of the class, quoting Malcolm X, presenting the significance of Malcolm’s vision, regardless of local boundaries. Filtered at Phakamani Combined School, the epilogue is shot as a tribute to Malcolm X, in a different timeline, emphasizing timeless values that he distributed until his death.
Egypt: Cairo, Location
In one of the most exciting shots in the movie, cinematographer Ernest Dickerson captures the beauty of Muhammad Ali Pasha’s Great Mosque, located inside the Citadel of Salah al-Din al – Ayyubi. The recording of Cairo was also important in the movie’s history, as it helped to show how Malcolm found a home in various sacred places regardless of the boundaries of the continents.
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