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The Morgans, a loving and strong family of Black sharecroppers in Louisiana in 1933, face a serious family crisis when the husband and father, Nathan Lee Morgan, is convicted of a petty crime and sent to a prison camp. After some weeks or months, the wife and mother, Rebecca Morgan, sends the oldest son, who is about 11 years old, to visit his father at the camp. The journey becomes something of an odyssey for the boy. During the journey, he stays a little while with a dedicated Black schoolteacher. Written by
Ed Cannon <firstname.lastname@example.org>
You Learn What You Are Made of When Life Throws Those Curve Balls.
1933 Depression-era Louisiana is seen through the eyes of an adolescent African-American boy (Kevin Hooks) in this methodical and smartly realized cinematic drama. Poverty and near starvation almost become tragedy when Hooks' father (Oscar nominee Paul Winfield) is arrested for stealing a hog and butchering it. Immediately he is sentenced to one year in jail (probably dodging much worse punishment) and it is up to wife Cicely Tyson (in her Oscar-nominated role) and her three young children to make the money needed to survive as Winfield is shipped from prison to prison. And through it all Hooks dreams of a better life via an education. The film's title refers to the family dog/game hunter who gets injured early on and yet finds a way to persevere much like his family (this is a great element of symbolism found within the movie). A brilliant screenplay by Lonne Elder III (who received an Oscar nomination as well) and intelligent direction by the always good Martin Ritt make "Sounder" one of the lesser-known gems of the 1970s. 4 stars out of 5.
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