Covering Cinema From All Across The African Diaspora

FILM FINDS - American Violet


News to me... this didn't show up on my radar as I hunted for "black films" of 2009 with distributors and scheduled release dates.

... Until now.

It's titled, American Violet - a factual story set in small town Texas, in 2000, about Dee Roberts, a 24 year old African-American mother of four, who is swept up in a drug raid and falsely accused based on the uncorroborated testimony of a single informant. Despite the urgings of her mother Alma, Dee rejects a plea bargain that would release her from jail but forever brand her as a felon. With the custody of her children at stake, she instead decides to take on the powerful district attorney behind it all, Calvin Beckett. Roberts finds herself in an unlikely alliance with ACLU attorney David Cohen and former local narcotics officer Sam Conroy. With inspiring courage and dignity, Dee overcomes seemingly insurmountable obstacles, forever changing her and the Texas justice system.

I'm not at all familiar with the real-life story. I don't recall hearing about it, so it's news to me, and definitely reads like something that would translate well to film - David taking on Goliath; beating the system that failed you; the "little guy" taking on corrupt officials and winning, etc...

The film stars newcomer, Nicole Beharie as Dee, multiple Emmy-award winning Alfre Woodard as Dee's mother, Charles S Dutton as a reverend, and many more.

Tim Disney, the great-grand nephew of Walt Disney, directed the film.

As I learned today, the film traveled the festival circuit last year, until it was finally acquired for distribution by Samuel Goldwyn Films in November, with a limited theatrical release in March of this year planned.

No trailer is available, to my knowledge. I'll be looking out for one.

The film's website can be found HERE.

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  1. Anonymous said...

    yea they filmed this here in new orleans. it was called american inquisition at first. i applied for a wardrobe pa job but didn't get it. i was surprised to see them make a film about a real life black woman's story. charles dutton seems to be involved in putting out more black films about true life black stories. however, the crew of this film seemed predom. white.

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