Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

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April 3, 2013

Michelle Obama praises Jackie Robinson movie

WASHINGTON (AP) — Michelle Obama said Tuesday that a new movie chronicling Jackie Robinson's rise through Major League Baseball, including the racial discrimination he endured while breaking the sport's color barrier in the 1940s, left her and the president "visibly, physically moved" after they saw it over the weekend.

The film, "42," also left the couple wondering "how on Earth did (the Robinsons) live through that. How did they do it? How did they endure the taunts and the bigotry for all of that time?" she said.

Mrs. Obama commented at a workshop for a group of high school and college students who saw the movie in the White House theater. Some of the students attend a Los Angeles charter school named for Robinson and others are undergraduate scholars in a program that bears the baseball great's name.

The students also participated in a question-and-answer session with Robinson's widow, Rachel, and members of the cast and crew, including Chadwick Boseman, who plays Robinson, Harrison Ford, who stars as former Brooklyn Dodgers General Manager Branch Rickey, and director-screenwriter Brian Helgeland.

President Barack Obama held a separate screening of "42" for the cast and crew Tuesday evening.

Mrs. Obama said everyone should see the movie, which opens nationwide April 12.

"I can say with all sincerity that it was truly powerful for us," she said. "We walked away from that just visibly, physically moved by the experience of the movie, of the story," and the "raw emotion" they felt afterward.

The first lady added that she was also "struck by how far removed that way of life seems today," noting how times have changed despite progress still to be made toward eliminating racial discrimination.

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