Red Tails (2012): Defying Discrimination in the Skies

The Tuskegee Airmen's Heroic Battle Against Prejudice and the Enemy

Defying Discrimination in Wartime

In 'Red Tails' (2012), directed by Anthony Hemingway, the Tuskegee Airmen take center stage. Set against the backdrop of World War II, these black pilots face not only enemies overseas but also discrimination within the military and back home.

The Tuskegee Airmen's Struggle

The film delves into the challenges faced by ace airman Martin 'Easy' Julian, played by Nate Parker, and his fellow black pilots in the Tuskegee training program. Racial prejudices limit their opportunities, confining them to base and denying them the chance to prove their mettle in combat.

An Unprecedented Opportunity

As the war takes its toll on Allied forces, Pentagon brass reluctantly considers the under-utilized Tuskegee pilots for combat duty. Despite being assigned second-rate planes and missions, the young airmen, led by Col. A.J. Bullard (Terrence Howard), are given the chance to provide safe escort to bombers in broad daylight — a mission deemed too perilous for others.

A Heroic Endeavor

Undaunted by the dangers, the Tuskegee Airmen take to the skies in a heroic endeavor to combat both the enemy and the discrimination that has held them back. The film explores themes of bravery, resilience, and the determination to overcome societal barriers.

An Ensemble Cast

'Red Tails' features an ensemble cast, including Cuba Gooding Jr., Terrence Howard, Bryan Cranston, Brandon T. Jackson, and Nate Parker. The actors deliver powerful performances, bringing to life the struggles and triumphs of these unsung heroes.

George Lucas's Vision

Produced by George Lucas, 'Red Tails' is based on the true story of the Tuskegee Airmen. Lucas, who began developing the film in 1988, envisioned it as a compelling narrative akin to 'Tucker: The Man and His Dream.' Anthony Hemingway was chosen to direct in 2008.

Production Insights

The film's production involved extensive research, with Lucasfilm consulting surviving Tuskegee Airmen and gaining access to original mission logbooks. High-definition Sony F35 cameras were used for principal photography in locations across Europe.

A Cinematic Tribute

'Red Tails' pays tribute to the bravery and accomplishments of the Tuskegee Airmen, offering audiences a cinematic experience filled with action, drama, and the indomitable spirit of those who defied the odds.