Rosewood

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Released 1997

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Movie Summary

Director:
John Singleton
Released:
1997
Rating:
R

Rosewood is a 1997 drama that chronicles the true events of a prosperous black town in 1923 that was burned to the ground after a white woman falsely claimed she was assaulted by a black man. The town, called Rosewood, was under siege as many of the men were hunted down and lynched, while other residents decided to pack their bags and move elsewhere. The incident was never spoken of again until 1983 when a reporter learned about the story and began to investigate what really took place. That investigation showed that a larger number of people were killed (between 70-250) than was originally thought, and a number of heroes acted out with courage and determination to make sure that death toll was not higher. Among the heroes are Mann (Ving Rhames), the town horseman, Sylvester (Don Cheadle), an educated black teacher and a store owner named John Wright (Jon Voight), who all play a key role in saving lives and overcoming the town's racial bigotry. Wright, in particular, is one of the few Whites in town who stands up for what is right and eventually has to make a difficult personal decision that puts a stop to all the hatred. Rosewood was directly by John Singleton.

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Metacritic Score

  • 70

    Los Angeles Times Kenneth Turan

    As written by Gregory Poirier and produced by Jon Peters, whose credits are mostly of the blockbuster variety, the film is broader and more simplistic than it needs to be, settling...

  • 70

    Variety Todd McCarthy

    Ultimately, however, the film's ambition, urgency and acute observations prevail over the many stock elements to forge an estimable work that is notably serious and analytical for ...

  • 50

    The New York Times Elvis Mitchell

    The film transcends racial divisions by bestowing equally hopeless dialogue on both sides.

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    Categories

    Drama

    Themes

    Politics, African-American Drama, Social Issues