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>
'Sounder' is a very small, sublime film- quietly powerful and perfect for just about anyone. Even though the title made no immediate sense to me (it's the name of the family dog), the plot and script is choice and proves what I've always believed regarding most scripts: less is more. Films with close, reverent, African-American families are still rare in the 21st century, and this one was extraordinary because it was a *1972* release, breaking ground when it was nominated at that year's Academy Awards for lead actor (Paul Winfield), lead actress (Cicely Tyson), screenplay (Lonne Elder III), and best picture. Only director Martin Ritt was not nominated, which was a travesty, but the Academy is historically famous for bonehead decisions. At any rate, it's nice to see a film which shows true family support- even in the event of the father's absence. I won't say why that happens, but it's only temporary, and his third act return- staged against a long stretch of open field and spotlighting a barefoot Tyson and limping Winfield running into each other's arms- is a bewitching, magical, sequence in the film. (There won't be a dry eye in the house.) Everyone is a standout, including Kevin Hooks as the pre-teen who needs to grow up overnight and to Carmen Matthews as the neighbor who quietly helps the family. Even more amazing is that this is a G-rated film; your whole family- black, white, or brown- will absolutely cherish it.
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