Brian Hooks plays a character who is just released from jail. And the state adopts a "3 strikes" rule for felons that involves serious penalties. Hooks has 2 strikes, and wants to change ... See full summary »
In 1981 in L.A., Monica moves in next door to Quincy. They're 11, and both want to play in the NBA, just like Quincy's dad. Their love-hate relationship lasts into high school, with ... See full summary »
Dr. RJ Stevens is a talk show host who visits his family in the deep south. While there he reunites with his brother Otis, his sister Betty, his cousin/rival Clyde and his childhood love intrest Lucinda Allen.
Malcolm D. Lee
James Earl Jones
A mechanic (Elba) enlists the help of a successful-but-lonely attorney (Union) while trying to wrest custody of his three daughters from his treacherous ex-wife and her larcenous boy friend... See full summary »
Tracee Ellis Ross
Harper's autobiographical novel is almost out, his girlfriend Robin desires commitment, and he's best man at the wedding of Lance, a pro athlete. He goes to New York early (Robin will come ... See full summary »
Women prisoners strike up a friendship with a young law student who works as a part-time prison guard. Together they discover that a corporation funds and is profitting from the plantation-like work environment they are forced to work under. In a botched attempt to organize a protest against their "slave labor", the women take over the prison - A rare glimpse of the effects of the prison industrial complex on female inmates. Written by
L. J. Allen-2 (Leslye Allen)
As others have stated, there is a backstory to Civil Brand that is probably more dramatic than the film itself. To sum it up in as few words as possible: Black women directors have a difficult road to travel to see a feature film made.
The film is definitely not a masterpiece, but the attempt at telling a story about African American women in prison is a great one. The film makes a point of comparing prison labor to US Slavery--and for good reason, it is certainly free labor, with poor working conditions.
The narration by Da Brat is overkill, but because many scenes were never filmed, I'm sure it was an attempt to make the story cohesive. Lisa Raye was surprisingly decent and Monica Calhoun and Lark Voorhies did what they could with their supporting roles, but N'Bushe Wright was one of the most interesting characters to watch. She has great screen presence and excellent delivery. Hopefully we're able to see more of her.
Civil Brand is not a great movie. It's filled with stereotypes and cliches--but it does bring a new and interesting point of view on women in prison. It's definitely worth renting or catching on television.
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