89 of 97 people found the following review helpful
I don't understand why this film isn't better known,
This review is from: Band of Angels [VHS] (VHS Tape)
Band of Angels is a very well-written screenplay about the oddities of race in America. I would have to compare it with "To Kill a Mockingbird" only I think Band of Angels is more thought provoking.
The plot involves a pre-Civil War Southern belle (whose father has sent her to school in the north which should give you a hint) who returns to Kentucky when her father falls ill. She arrives to see him being buried, and immediately afterwards hears first that her father was bankrupt and all the slaves will be sold and then that she herself is the child of a slave woman and therefore she too will be sold. It seems her father had an affair with a mulatto slave and raised the child as if the mother had been white and married to him. He has (somewhat unbelievably) concealed this from his child, who doesn't understand why her mother is buried outside the family cemetery. Our beautifully-dressed belle ends up being literally sold down the river -- she leaves pleasant Kentucky to be sold on a New Orleans auction block. (The further south you got, the worse conditions were: the other slaves are probably going to end up on a mosquito-infested sugar cane plantation and face a much worse fate than she does, but the movie fails to make this point). It's an eye-opener how particularly shocking the slave auction is when an apparently white woman is being auctioned -- which gives a lot of insight into subliminal racism.
Although a bit dated at parts (the music at the beginning, for example, and the scenes with the slaves singing like a choir), this is a very thought-provoking and yet entertaining movie. I highly recommend it.