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American Violet [Blu-ray]
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Although Kelly's case was reported in a documentary by PBS' cutting-edge Frontline back in 2004, American Violet brings a fictionalized version to a broader, mass audience. Co-director Bill Haney (along with Tim Disney) says he heard about Kelly's case on National Public Radio as he was driving; it so moved him that he pulled his car over to the side of the road and cried.
In this film, "Dee Roberts" (a magnificent Nicole Beharie) is the plaintiff in a class-action case over racial discrimination in drug enforcement. Tim Blake Nelson plays David Cohen, the ACLU lawyer who sues district attorney Calvin Beckett (Michael O'Keefe) on her behalf.
Kelly is quoted in the Chicago Tribune as saying the film is "90 percent accurate." The depositions, the courtroom scene in which she fights to retain custody of her children, and many other scenes are word-for-word accounts.
Like Clint Eastwood's ...Read more ›
PS... Superb performances by all: Nicole Beharie, Alfre Woodard, Will Patton, even Anthony Mackey!!! Applause, followed by a standing ovation!!!
"American Violet" is based on a true story, and while the film makers combined some characters and condensed the passage of time for dramatic purposes, the key events of the film are as they happened in real life.
It's just another day in Bush Texas, where counties were given government money for making drug convictions. Worse, citizens could be accused and arrested based on the testimony of a single informant, in this case a young paranoid schizophrenic whose testimony would never hold up in court.
How then did the government prevail in these cases? By offering suspects a plea bargain: plead guilty and pay a fine but serve no jail time. What they didn't tell those who accepted the pleas were the terrible consequences: no further government benefits, no government housing subsidies, felonies on their records, and no further right to vote as American citizens.
Appallingly, this film reveals that ninety percent of all the cases in the American "justice" system are resolved by these profoundly inequitable plea bargains. What's more, an African-American man is more likely to serve time in jail in contemporary America than to graduate from college.
This story focuses on the young mother accused of dealing drugs.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This was a wonderful well executed movie. I had to watch the movie for my women's studies class and I enjoyed it. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Stephanie Waldon
Loved it. I used to live in Robertson county and know most of the actual people this happened to. It was a very accurate movie, more so than most Hollywood productions of actual... Read morePublished 2 months ago by tfarmer4