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Nicole Beharie (The Express), Will Patton (Entrapment, The Postman), Charles Dutton (TV's Roc, Mimic) and Alfre Woodard (TV's Desperate Housewives, Primal Fear) star in this gripping true-life story. Falsely accused of distributing narcotics in a school zone, Dee Roberts (Beharie) is offered a deal she can't refuse: plead guilty and accept a 10-year suspended sentence. The alternative: risk serving 16-to-25 in jail. Realizing a conviction would ruin her life, Dee decides to fight back. Suing the DA for racial discrimination, Dee battles impossible odds in a case that will not only change her life but the laws of Texas as well.
American Violet may be based on the story of outrageous injustices committed against Regina Kelly of Hearne, Texas, but that does not make it a good film. It is, at best, a bad film with an important message. American Violet is about a single mother of four, Dee Roberts (Nicole Beharie), who is wrongly convicted of drug charges due to police racism and corruption. As she struggles to stay out of prison with the help of her mother, Alma (Alfre Woodard), Dee exemplifies a stalwart woman who refuses to plead guilty when offered a plea bargain. While names of characters and the town itself are changed, the story in American Violet is allegedly altered only slightly in hopes of maintaining its tragic truth, that a plea-bargain system in Texas forced, in this case, impoverished and sometimes innocent African Americans to accept guilty charges and their negative aftereffects. American Violet's melodramatic sensibility attempts to spark the same indignation that fuels ACLU lawyer David Cohen (Tim Blake Nelson) to embark on a lawsuit against the head racist, district attorney Calvin Beckett (Michael O'Keefe). Cohen, with the help of a former narcotics officer, Sam Conroy (Will Patton), discovers enough evidence to disturb any viewer. While it is crucial to have artful dialogue about this politically offensive topic, American Violet is not finely scripted or cinematically engaging enough to elevate it above second-hand documentary. Still, since the film does cover meaningful territory, there may be a place for it in classrooms, or it may inspire others to work on further exposing gross injustice for the benefit of our society. --Trinie Dalton
Nicole Beharie is an excellent actress. Very touching story with powerful cast. Enjoyed it.Published 2 months ago by aocd
It is so disturbing to see justice can be so one sided for a certain race of people who have contributed so much to a country that refuses to grant them there right as citizens.Published 3 months ago by Melvin Pleasant
Fabulous! I ended up purchasing 6 DVD's of it; & shared them with friends & family. I think it should be required viewing & discussion in all American high schools!Published 3 months ago by Marilouise Jackson