Every film has good and bad aspects to it: The Great Debaters is not immune to this. One of the films short fallings is how it portrays the characters, both white and African American. Throughout the movie, the African American characters are portrayed as intelligent, but all of the white characters are seen as idiots, farmers, and rednecks. The Harvard Debate team is shown as intelligent people but they are also portrayed as arrogant and self-centered. The only redeeming white character in the movie is the tour guide for the Wiley college debate team and his role is not long enough to actually show it. While the movie does have its short comings, the main characters are likable and the story line is clear and easy to follow. This film sticks to the true story and shows the serious nature of the time and the difficulties faced by African Americans while keeping the film away from being a boring nature of a documentary. While the film does stray from the actual events and how they happened it stays close enough that the viewer is shown a clear picture of what was happening to the African American people in the 1930's.