(Nicole Beharie, Will Patton, et al / DVD / R / (2008) 2009 / Image Entertainment)
Overview: Inspired by a true story, AMERICAN VIOLET follows the struggle of a young African-American mother to clear her name after being wrongly arrested for dealing drugs in an impoverished Texas town. An honest woman with no hard evidence to justify the accusation, she is forced to risk everything in order fight unfair prosecution.
DVD Verdict: Wow, I just finished watching this movie, having gone in knowing nothing about it (sometimes you can be very surprised in your choice in this fashion!) and yes, taken aback with awe is an understatment!
Creating within me some very varied, well-mixed emotions, such as disbelief, melancholy, happiness, wonderment, and surprise of course!), the story - a gripping true-life story at that - is one of a character, Dee Roberts (Beharie) who is falsely accused of distributing narcotics in a school zone. Dee 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.
Starring Nicole Beharie (The Express), Will Patton (Entrapment, The Postman), Charles Dutton (TV’s Roc, Mimic) and Alfre Woodard (TV’s Desperate Housewives), 'American Violet's heartpounding storyline is incredible and yet suitably watchable also. I mean, to accused (and basically sentenced) for a crime you KNOW you did NOT commit, is one thing. But when your so-called lawyer suggests you to take a plea bargain, opposed to fighting for your justice and the chance to clear your name, well, it kinda makes you wonder whose side they were on in the first place!
Again, based on factual events, 'American Violet' is heartwrenching; a true wide-open eye-opener of a tale to behold for one and all. I'd recommend it to anyone. This is a Widescreen Presentation (2.35:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Features of:
Commentary by Director Tim Disney
Telluride Film Festival Interview