American Violet Tidbits

american_violet1

 Alfre Woodard, Xzibit, Will Patton, Charles Dutton and Michael O’Keefe. Do any of those names sound familiar? They all make up the cast of “American Violet”. Nicole Beharie plays Dee Roberts, a single mother with four children living in a housing project in small town Texas. Dee gets picked up at the local diner where she works just as a major drub bust goes down at the housing project where she lives with her daughters. She is handcuffed and taken to jail. She has no previous drug record, nor are any drugs found on her, so she is faced with very difficult decisions.

Alfre Woodard, Xzibit, Will Patton, Charles Dutton and Michael O’Keefe. Do any of those names sound familiar? They all make up the cast of “American Violet”. Nicole Beharie plays Dee Roberts, a single mother with four children living in a housing project in small town Texas. Dee gets picked up at the local diner where she works just as a major drub bust goes down at the housing project where she lives with her daughters. She is handcuffed and taken to jail. She has no previous drug record, nor are any drugs found on her, so she is faced with very difficult decisions.

Dee isn’t a saint, but she’s been falsely accused and refuses to accept a plea agreement for something she didn’t do. If she caves, she is free to go, but if she stays she has a full-fledged fight ahead of her. Not only is she battling a shady felony drug charge, she’s up against the father of her two daughters who uses her predicament to try to win custody of their children in court. The movie calls out a flawed justice system. I also like to think of it as an ordinary story about an extraordinary woman who is a product of her environment.

What’s really cool is that for all that she’s gone through and sustained, Dee Roberts’ court case did help bring about a change in the laws governing Melroy, Texas. The trial made national headlines, highlighting the illegality of forced plea-bargaining and the illegal arrests of minorities with no search warrants and without being read their Miranda Rights. The epilogue is a sobering reminder that as far as we have come in this country, we have much farther to go.

Since this is all based on an actual case (names were changed to protect those affected), we are shown just enough of the complacency that has affected the community in a way that it’s seemingly normal to accept a plea for a felony drug charge and be released from jail the very next day. Little do they know that with the acceptance of guilt they have cut themselves off from any future government assistance as well as the right to vote. It’s no wonder the DA was re-elected multiple times since the series of events set off.

This is one of those rare but potent movies I’ll recommend everyone see. Even if you’re one of those, “I’ll just wait until it’s available at Blockbuster or Netflix” kind of people then I have great news for you. It’s worth even that wait.

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Comments

5 Responses to “American Violet Tidbits”
  1. Tami says:

    I saw the trailers for this a few weeks back. I really want to see this movie! If I can get the the theater I will, but if not, I will def. get it on DVD.

    I want to say I can't believe that this happened in this country…but I can believe it. Just makes me wonder how many other cases like this have occured??

  2. mspachy says:

    I really enjoyed this movie, even though it really stirred up a lot of feelings of “is this crap still going on in our country?”. I really think everyone should take the time to see this movie. It is a very important view of how things are in this wonderful country of ours.

  3. Glennisha Morgan says:

    I’m gonna go see this movie soon. I figured it was based on a true story.

  4. BWABW says:

    Hey,
    Thanks for the review. I'm gonna check it out soon!

  5. Chanel says:

    I have got to go see this. I cant find a theater in the bay area playing it! If I have to travel down to LA to see this movie im gonna be pissed. lol.

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