7.1/10
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American Violet (2008)

PG-13 | | Drama | 17 April 2009 (USA)
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A single mother struggles to clear her name after being wrongly accused and arrested for dealing drugs in an impoverished town in Texas.

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5 wins & 10 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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David Cohen
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Sam Conroy
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Calvin Beckett
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Darrell Hughes
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Byron Hill
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Reverend Sanders (as Charles Dutton)
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Mark Shelby
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David Higgins
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Robert Foster
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Leona Conroy
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Claudia Johnson
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Judge Belmont
Pamala Tyson ...
Gladys Williams
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Storyline

A single mother struggles to clear her name after being wrongly accused and arrested for dealing drugs in an impoverished town in Texas.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

When law is without order.....and justice is far from just.....one woman must take a stand

Genres:

Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for thematic material, violence, drug references and language | See all certifications »
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Details

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| |  »

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Release Date:

17 April 2009 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

American Inquisition  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$243,162 (USA) (17 April 2009)

Gross:

$552,933 (USA) (5 June 2009)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

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Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The real district attorney, John Pischall, is now a convicted felon and can no longer practice law. Paschall was found guilty of stealing over $200,000 from a dead woman's estate in 2015. He was sentenced to six months in jail, 10 years probation, and must pay restitution. See more »

Goofs

When Dee is driving to work she honks her horn at a Pontiac G6 that pulls out in front of her. The G6 was not in production until 2005. The movie makes several references to the 2000 election that was upcoming. See more »

Connections

Features Sesame Street (1969) See more »

Soundtracks

Forgot it was Wrong
alternate name "Breakin' the Rules"
Written by Carolyn Richardson, German Pizano, Rene Izquierdo, Andrew Miller, Antoine Offett
Performed by Taniq
Produced by Adriohn Richardson, Carolyn Richardson, German Pizano, Rene Izquierdo, Andrew Miller,
Antoine Offett as TANIQ
Courtesy of Crazatic Entertainment Corporation
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User Reviews

 
Gripping tale that becomes of the year's best films of 2008
18 May 2009 | by (Durham,North Carolina) – See all my reviews

Powerfully produced and directed, "American Violet" is a film based on the racially charged drug war scandal that rocked the town of Hearne,Texas,several years ago,which explores the devastating impact of America's "war on drugs". Directed by Tim Disney and written by Bill Haney,the film has a powerful story to tell,fueled by the powerful cast which includes Alfre Woodard,Will Patton,Tim Blake Nelson,rapper/actor Xzibit(in a electrifying performance),and Emmy Award winning actor Charles S. Dutton.

The film,as recounted here,the ACLU filed a class action lawsuit on behalf of 15 African-American residents of Hearne who were indicted in November 2000 on drug charges after being rounded up in a series of unlawful paramilitary drug "sweeps". These undercover drug busts,which led to the arrest of 15 percent of the African-American men between the ages of 18 to 34 in Hearne,were uniformly undertaken based on the uncorroborated word of a single unreliable confidental informant coerced by police to make cases. The film centers around Dee(played by newcomer Nicole Beharie)who works a shift at the local diner. The powerful local district attorney(Academy Award nominee Michael O'Keefe)leads an extensive drug bust,sweeping her Arlington Springs housing project with aggressive military tactics. Police drag Dee from work in handcuffs,dumping her in the squalor of the women's county prison. Indicated based on the uncorroborated word of a single and dubious police informant facing his own drug charges,Dee soon discovers that she has been charged as a drug dealer. Even though Dee has no prior drug record and no drugs were found on her in the raid or any subsequent searches,she is offered a hellish choice:plead guilty and go home as a convicted felon with an attendant loss of her federal and state rights,thus jeopardizing the custody of her children and risking a long prison sentence. Despite the urgings of her mother(Oscar nominee Alfre Woodard),and with her freedom and custody of her children at stake,she chooses to fight the district attorney and the unyielding criminal justice system he represents in the state of Texas. Joined in an unlikely alliance with an ACLU attorney(Tim Blake Nelson),and former local narcotics officer(Will Patton),Dee risks everything in a battle that forever changes her life and the Texas justice system. "American Violet" is a hard-hitting Hollywood blockbuster of a film that tells the story of Regina Kelly,one of the people rounded up in a Tulia style drug bust in Hearne,Texas back in 1999. The Hearne tragedy would have never have come to light without Tulia in which people took a stand against the wrongdoings down there in which the people fought for their rights. The cast here in downright superb including the electrifying performance of newcomer Nicole Beharie as Dee Roberts,who took on the State of Texas and won not only her case against her,but her freedom.

A gripping and suspenseful and emotional tale that became one of the official selected films for the Sundance Film Festival in 2008. And it is one of the year's best from 2008. The movie became the left-right combination of a scandal that changed the rules and regulations of the drug war in the State of Texas.


20 of 23 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Why such low IMDB scores? markschu
Why did they change the title of the film? fallonfilm
This could happen to any one in any town... neugierigblume
Why so few showings? Daisy38
Great film!! tx_chick1
Release Date/Trailer? lizzie_rnr
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