release year: 1996
genre: drama
viewing setting: home laserdisc, 10/30/97
what I expected: wasn't sure
what I got: a grim movie about racism

synopsis: In a small town in 1920's Florida, one misunderstanding leads to another, and before long, the racist white people are on a rampage.

impressions: This was depressing, because things like this really DID happen. The white villains of this movie are hypocritical and vile, and they all deserved to die. Unfortunately, this movie adheres to the "True Story" syndrome, meaning that they got away with their crimes. The social structure in the old South is shown here as little more than an excuse for the racist whites to run amok.

acting: Ving Rhames did a good job as the drifter who helps the surviving blacks escape. Jon Voight did a good job as the only sympathetic adult white male in the movie. Others also did well with their roles - and bad guys moreso. I wouldn't have felt comfortable playing one of their parts in this movie.

final word: If you're looking for an accurate depiction of racism gone wild, this is the movie for you. It also happens to be a decent drama as well.

rating: C

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