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MPAA Rated PG-13 for thematic material and some violence

Sex & Nudity

  • Lily treats a picture of her mother with extreme care and hides it from T-Ray. One night, she is out in the field alone and unbuttons her shirt to place the photo on her bare torso. T-Ray finds her and accuses her of messing around with a boy.
  • May makes Zack a "candlestick salad" when he visits, and it has a phallic shape; a banana pointing upward with a cherry on it. "It looks like-" Lily says. "I know," answers Zack. May has no idea what it looks like, because she is too innocent.
  • May tells Lily about the first time she kissed a boy, and tries to give Lily innocent advice on how to kiss boys (such as baking them a cake). Lily and Zack flirt, she tastes a bit of honey off of his finger, they go to a movie together, and later kiss. June and Neil kiss and embrace passionately a few times.

Violence & Gore

  • T-Ray repeatedly abuses Lily physically, he hits her, shoves her, and pulls her hair. One time, he forces her to kneel on a pile of dry grits for an entire hour as he sips a beer. We see Lily's bloodied knees the next day.
  • Rosaleen talks back to a group of white men, and is beaten and arrested for it. We see her punched and kicked and dragged away. Lily tries to stop them and his held back violently. We later see Rosaleen with a bloody gash in her forehead.
  • Zack is arrested for sitting (legally) next to Lily at the movies. He is punched once or twice before dragged away. Lily is pushed back, and hits her head on a seat. We hear Zack was beaten severely, and we later see him bruised.


  • 4 scatological terms, 4 anatomical terms, 8 mild obscenities, 13 derogatory terms for African-Americans, name-calling (lunatic, selfish, coward, idiot, dumb), 5 religious profanities, 7 religious exclamations.

Alcohol, Drugs & Smoking

  • T-Ray drinks beer, and Rosaleen chews and spits tobacco.

Frightening & Intense Scenes

  • There is an emotional scene where Lily breaks down while revealing the truth of her past to August.
  • We hear a few sad details about both Lily's family and the Boatwrights.
  • The opening is intense and sad, and we see it flashed back to a second time during the movie.
  • Zack's mother cries when she hears he was beaten.


The Parents Guide items below may give away important plot points.

Violence & Gore

  • The opening scene tells us that Lily killed her own mother when she was 4. We see Lily's mom and T-Ray fighting, pushing and shoving, and the mom brings out a gun. T-Ray throws it to the floor, and Lily tries to return it, but accidentally triggers it and shoots her mother (this part is offscreen).
  • May Boatwright commits suicide. She drowns herself in the creek, putting a rock on her chest to hold her down. She also writes a suicide note on how she'll be happier in heaven. Lily vomits when they find the body in the river, and August and June clutch May's dead body, crying.

Frightening & Intense Scenes

  • May's suicide is the most intense part The times where Lily is abused by T-Ray are equally as scary and intense.

See also

Taglines | Plot Summary | Synopsis | Plot Keywords

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