We all know how Jesse Owens’ story ends: He competed in the 1936 Berlin Olympic Games, won four gold medals, and “single-handedly crushed Hitler’s myth of Aryan supremacy.” But the upcoming Jesse Owens biopic, Race, shows us how he got there. In the first tailer for Race, we see Owens (Stephen James) training with Ohio State University track and field coach Larry Snyder (played by an unprecedentedly serious Jason Sudeikis). In the midst of setting a world record at the Big Ten meet in 1935, he is struggling to decide whether to attend the Berlin games or to abstain as a sign of protest—Hitler’s budding Nazi regime made the games extremely controversial.
The trailer focuses on the racial tensions in America as well as abroad, but like any good sports movie, it tempers intense drama with Owens’ thrilling victories. (Overlaying the clips with Raury’s “Devil’s Whisper” two-thirds of the way through makes the whole vibe even more triumphant.) The film hits theaters Feb. 19.