"AMERICAN VIOLET is a tale of extraordinary personal courage--the story of a mother forced to choose between her children and her principles--a mother who fights to defend both"--Tim Disney, DirectorI saw this movie tonight at an advance screening (shout out to CJ! Thanks girl!), and I really enjoyed it. I had my doubts about it because I wasn't sure what I was getting myself into, but I knew I really like Charles S. Dutton and Alfre Woodard so that to me was the draw. But while watching the flick, I was truly impressed by lead actress Nicole Beharie who held it down as 24-year-old Dee Roberts, mother of four who is the falsely accused victim of a drug raid in Melody, Texas in 2000. Crooked cops in the state were going on a rampage targeting Black folks (specifically those living in the projects)in drug raids, which ultimately led to them being jailed. The victims were offered no choice but to accept a plea bargain for a crime they never committed and leave them with a permanent mark on their record, or else they'd stay in jail for several years.
But this time the cops messed with the wrong person. Based on a true story about Dee Roberts who stopped at nothing to fight the system, sue the law enforcement team and regain her life as a freed woman, Violet followed her as she continued to fight to maintain custody of her four daughters, seek employment after she was unjustly marked as a drug dealer and restore her own hope in the justice system. Being a young single mother from the projects, she was the perfect target for racist white cops in the south to pinpoint. But rather than playing the victim, she fights back, not without strife and not without fear, but still she fights. You watch her as she went through all the emotions of anger, sadness and betrayal and you root for her. She has every reason to give up and throw in the towel and feel defeated, but instead she chose to fight. Beharie is so passionate as the relative newcomer on the screen. I hope to see more of her soon.
This movie isn't your typical movie about a girl from the projects who gets into some trouble, but a story of survival and hope and surviving all odds. It's beautifully told, passionate and sensitive to the true story and the victims that lived it.
It comes out April 17. Don't miss it.
Click here to check out the trailer.
My rating: A