Two women. One white. The other black. Society mandated they be enemies. The gospel of Jesus Christ required they be friends. On the eve of the death of Joseph Smith, his widow, Emma, is on the brink of destruction. In order to stand with her friend in her darkest hour, one woman, Jane Manning, will need to hear the voice of God once more. Can she hear His voice again? And if so, can she find the strength to abide it?Written by
Excel Entertainment Group
Negroes have souls and are subjects of salvation. They are not just children of Abraham, they are children of God. To curse the negro is to tempt damnation.
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Danielle Deadwyler Give a Performance Worthy of an Oscar Nomination
JANE AND EMMA may be a low budget production but it has a lot of creative strengths that make this an exceptional exploration of two strong women in the early history of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Danelle Deadwyler brings great strength to the role of Jane Manning James, a black woman who after joining the Church desires to meet the prophet Joseph Smith (well played by Brad Schmidt) and in doing so becomes a close friend of his wife Emma Hale Smith (Emily Goss). The film focuses on Jane spending the night with Emma following the murder of Joseph and his brother Hyrum. During the course of the night Emma struggles with the feeling that her request for Joseph to return to Nauvoo led to his death while Jane wonders what her place as a black woman in the restored Church is. Deadwyler and Gross give powerful performances with a script by Melissa Leilani Larson that gives the viewer a great deal to think about and ponder. One of the greatest strengths of this film is the superb cinematography by Wesley Johnson which masterfully uses creative close-ups in the wide screen format. The lighting of the Nauvoo house at night by candlelight seems real. The musical score is extremely effective. JANE AND EMMA raises the bar as to what can be done with limited funds and a great deal of creativity. Most of this creativity from the directing and screenplay and the performances has come from women.
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