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Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Shadrach (1998)

Set during the great depression of the 1930s, a 100 year old former slave (John Franklin Sawyer) travels by foot from Alabama to Virginia to be buried on the property where he was born into slavery. The property is now owned by a poor white family fallen on hard times where the father (Harvey Keitel) makes moonshine liquor to support his family. Based on a short story by William Styron (SOPHIE'S CHOICE) and directed by his daughter, Susanna Styron. This is a deceptively sweet story that could almost be a Disney film if it weren't for the use of the "N" word and the potty mouth of Keitel's character. Sadly, it's only an okay film without a sharper focus and point of view that might have made it something special like SOUNDER. The film has an authentic look to it courtesy of Hiro Narita's (HOCUS POCUS) use of the North Carolina locations. With Andie MacDowell, who gives a warm performance as Keitel's earthy wife, Darrell Larson, Scott Terra and Martin Sheen doing the narration.

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