7.1/10
2,252
21 user 32 critic

American Violet (2008)

PG-13 | | Drama | 17 April 2009 (USA)
Trailer
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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.

Director:

Tim Disney

Writer:

Bill Haney
5 wins & 10 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Nicole Beharie ... Dee Roberts
Tim Blake Nelson ... David Cohen
Will Patton ... Sam Conroy
Michael O'Keefe ... Calvin Beckett
Xzibit ... Darrell Hughes
Malcolm Barrett ... Byron Hill
Charles S. Dutton ... Reverend Sanders (as Charles Dutton)
Alfre Woodard ... Alma Roberts
Tim Ware ... Mark Shelby
Paul David Story ... David Higgins
David Warshofsky ... Robert Foster
Lucinda Jenney ... Leona Conroy
Karimah Westbrook ... Claudia Johnson
Paul Guilfoyle ... Judge Belmont
Pamala Tyson 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

Official Sites:

Official Facebook | Official MySpace | See more »

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

17 April 2009 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

American Inquisition See more »

Filming Locations:

New Orleans, Louisiana, USA

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$243,162, 19 April 2009, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$552,933, 7 June 2009
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Uncommon Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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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

References Sesame Street (1969) See more »

Soundtracks

Bring the Sunshine (After the Rain)
by Michael Kocher
Courtesy of Crucial Music
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User Reviews

 
An Important and compelling story that needed to be told
15 March 2009 | by JustCuriositySee all my reviews

I was honored to have the opportunity to catch a screening of American Violet's Texas premiere at the Paramount Theatre during Austin's SXSW Film Festival. The film tells the important story of Dee Roberts drug arrest in Melody, Texas in 2000. The story of the abuse of power by the criminal justice system is an important one that most Americans are not terribly familiar with. The story is generally well-acted and compelling as we are drawn through the story of Dee's clearly false arrest and prosecution. The line between fact and dramatic license does remain a little foggy and there is particularly unbelievable scene in which the local district attorney acts as some sort of family court judge who oversees a hearing to determine the custody of Dee's 4 children.

The legal focus of the film does tend to bounce around from one issue to another – the problem of forced plea bargaining, the misuse of Federal drug task forces, the use of dishonest informants, the problem of fighting a "war on drugs," and finally focusing on blatant racism of District Attorney. All of these issues are certainly present in the criminal justice system, but the relationship and role of each is often confusingly presented and blurs the legal focus of the film. Nevertheless, the story remains powerful and the presentation is a potent one.

Regardless of the limitations, some of which are inherent in the criminal docudrama, the film is well worth seeing, because of the important story that it tells about complex interaction between race, poverty and the criminal justice system that is often obscured from the view of much of the American public. The film deserves to be seen by those who still doubt the critical role of racism in American society - particularly in the criminal justice system.


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