Salute looks into the fallout of the black salute at the 1968 for the other man on the podium - the white Australian Peter Norman, who had won second place for sprinting. While he became a hero in black America, he was ostracised in his homeland and written out of Australian Olympic history.
The black salute at the 1968 Olympics made counter-cultural heroes of Tommie Smith and John Carlos — but what about the other guy on the podium? This spirited if soft-hitting documentary profiles Australian sprinter Peter Norman, who joined the protest in silent solidarity and ended up ostracised in his own country. Director Matt Norman’s interest is more than humanitarian — he’s the cousin of Peter (who died in 2006), and pulled off the coup of reuniting the trio. The message is powerful and timeless — however, the delivery’s more like a History Channel special.
A powerful and poignant theme, but Salute would perhaps have worked better as a TV documentary.
Reviewed by Simon Crook