(2019) (Sam Rockwell, Taraji P. Henson) (PG-13)
- QUICK TAKE:
- Drama: An early 1970s African-American activist and a white Klan member clash as they're forced to work together to come up with a resolution to the matter of integrating a school in their Durham neighborhood.
- It's the early 1970s and Ann Atwater (TARAJI P. HENSON) is an African-American activist and single mom who fights for the rights of other blacks who've been affected by direct or indirect racism in their Durham neighborhood. When her daughter's all-black school is damaged by a fire and closed, there's a demand that the nearby all-white school allow the black students to attend.
That doesn't sit well with various white folks in power, including Councilman Carvie Oldham (BRUCE McGILL) and Garland Keith (NICK SEARCY) of the White Citizens Council, or members of the local chapter of the Ku Klux Klan, including gas station owner C.P. Ellis (SAM ROCKWELL) and his right-hand man, Floyd Kelly (WES BENTLEY).
To try to resolve the matter peacefully, community activist Bill Riddick (BABOU CEESAY) arrives in town with the suggestion that a 10-day charrette be created to allow those on opposite sides of the issue to hammer out their differences and come to a final vote. Bill suggests that Ann and C.P. be chairs of their respective sides to be comprised of a council pulled from the community. While C.P. initially doesn't want to do that, he's talked into it by the powers that be so that some liberal white person isn't put in charge of their side.
White hardware store owner Lee Trombley (JOHN GALLAGHER, JR.) is one of those council members, but his practice of hiring African-Americans as his employees doesn't sit well with other whites, such as Wiley Yates (NICHOLAS LOGAN) who eventually goes so far as to threaten physical violence against another white member, Maddy Mays (CAITLIN MEHNER), if she doesn't vote their way.
At the same time, C.P. and his wife, Mary (ANNE HECHE), must contend with having one of their children institutionalized due to having Down Syndrome, and once Ann learns about that and sees how C.P. behaves regarding that, she softens her stance on him a bit. All of which causes him to do the same toward her, but that puts him at odds with most of the rest of the white folks in town, including his fellow Klan members who begin to eye his behavior with suspicion.
- WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
- Some older teens might show some interest especially if they're fans of anyone in the cast or if the true-life story interests them.
- WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: PG-13
- For thematic material, racial epithets, some violence and a suggestive reference.
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