REVIEW: ‘American Violet’ Starring Nicole Beharie

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Ever been accused of a crime that you didn’t do? It takes a strong-willed person to go against the powers that be and seeing that justice is blind, American Violet takes an incredible look at how far the spirit will carry you in this story based on true events.

Starring Nicole Beharie, Alfre Woodard, Xzibit and Will Patton, the film opens in a Texas kitchen housing project where a mother is taking care of her kids. Miles away the police are preparing to wage war on that peaceful scene with guns and ammos loaded ready to arrest anyone in their way. The story is penned by Bill Haney and tells the ordeal of Regina Kelly – a single mother of four forced to defend her innocence against a racist police force and its mastermind District Attorney.

American Violet is a very powerful film. Set during the tumultuous time of the Bush Administration, Texas was still under its own jurisdiction even after Dubya took office and audiences were amazed to see how poor folks weren’t given too many options once arrested and placed in a cell. Much like Mumia Abu-Jamal or other cases where folks have been wronged, Nicole Beharie – who stars as Dee Roberts – maintains her poise even though folks on both sides of the fence weigh their opinion on what she should do.

The Julliard grad does an effortless job of creating strength within chaos. Her home life and workplace were safe havens before the law came in to change that. Falsely accused of selling drugs in a school zone, Beharie showcases an inner belief that only reaffirms her resolve in God, her family and her innocence. Fellow Julliard alum, Anthony Mackie makes a brief cameo that helps the story to flow along smoothly.

It’s the supporting cast of Woodard, Xzibit and Will Patton that do well in being the voices in Dee’s life. As her mother, Woodard herself exhibits the fear that most mothers would for their child when facing a life threatening situation. Xzibit plays the father to two of Dee’s kids, who lives in the same projects as her with a seedy new woman. The fireworks that go on between Beharie’s and Xzibit’s characters when placed against all that she’s going through gives “Dee” another level of personal hell, but it is within that where the road to redemption takes flight.

But I wouldn’t want to give away the whole movie. American Violet opens up in select theaters today (April 17th). This is a MUST SEE MOVIE for anyone who needs a little reaffirmation in their own life.

The Urban Daily sits down EXCLUSIVELY with star, Nicole Beharie. Check out what she has to say below:

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