5.0 out of 5 stars Powerful Unfortunate History
"Rosewood", starring Jon Voight and Ving Rhames, is a gripping true story about an all African-American town that was burned by an all white lynch mob in 1923, which killed many. Its powerful message sends an eyeopening attack in audiences' hearts. The filmmakers deserve tremendous respect for deeply exploring these chain of events to such levels. This was...
Published on Feb 20 2004 by David Anderson
3.0 out of 5 stars Shameful Democrat past once again rebuked
This film reminds us of the horrors that the Southern Democrats inflicted upon African Americans. As Wayne Perryman reminds us in his book, "Unfounded Loyalties",
"One party and their abolitionist supporters believed the Bible instructed them to lay down their lives for the slaves, the other party and their supporters believed the Bible gave them the...
Published on July 1 2004 by Grimmy
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3.0 out of 5 stars Shameful Democrat past once again rebuked,
"One party and their abolitionist supporters believed the Bible instructed them to lay down their lives for the slaves, the other party and their supporters believed the Bible gave them the right to take the lives of blacks if they rebelled against being slaves.
"On the issue of slavery, one party and its supporters gave their lives to expand it (to Northern states) and the other party and their supporters gave their lives to ban it.
"One party was heavily influenced by the Abolitionists and the radical wing of their party ... and the other party was influenced by the Ku Klux Klan and other terrorist groups.
"One party and its supporters started the Freedman's Bureau and other programs to help build communities for blacks, the other party and their supporters engaged in practices to hinder those efforts and to destroy those communities (Wilmington, North Carolina).
"One party and its supporters established quality schools and colleges for blacks, the other party and their supporters engaged in practices that attempted to close some of those schools or diminish their quality.
"One party passed laws and Constitutional Amendments (13th , 14th , 15th) to include blacks as part of mainstream society, the other party passed laws to exclude them from the mainstream (Jim Crow Laws and Black Codes). ..."
Sadly, many do not know that that "one party" was the Republican Party, while the "other party" was the Democratic Party. I myself didn't know at the time I watched this stirring film. I suppose burning crosses make us assume the bad guys are aligned with the religious right. Unfortunately, the "other party" used a nonsensical interpretation of the "curse of Ham" to justify slavery; fortunately, "one party" saw through it.
This film is also a great example of how history is being rewritten or dumbed down. While many films have shown lynchings and other abuse of African Americans, they usually leave you with the impression that the bigots were "Bible bashers" ... as you can see, this is only half the truth. Very rarely are we reminded that it was Republicans who laid their lives on the line to defend blacks, based on their Christian faith.
We are all sinners. Perhaps the shameful past that the Democrats are trying to forget - indeed, most youngsters today do not need to forget, they haven't even been taught - will spur them onto greater deeds that may even outshine the "one party".
5.0 out of 5 stars Powerful Unfortunate History,
A small town, Rosewood, is usually a peaceful, loving town. In New Years Eve 1922, everything functioned as usual. Around that time, a woman from a nearby town, Sumner, falsely accuses a black person of raping and assaulting her (it was actually a white man, but there was no rape). Once word is out, all hell breaks loose.
The recreation of the town is perfect. Every detail is flawless, including the styles of the early 1920's. Every building structure and creation is flawless. The costume designs are as flawless, looking like actual 1920's clothing.
The acting was intensely great. Everyone offers their own heart and soul sense into this movie, making it more powerful. Jon Voight and Ving Rhames capitalize the acting talents. This is Rhames's best role in years. His tough warrior image never fades for a second, which is very convincing. His presentd talents were wrongfully overlooked in the 1997 Acadamy Awards for Best Supporting Actor. Jon Voight's role as a man who comes to terms of what a true ally is. His heartdrenching role forces audiences to feel his character's learning progress and emotions.
"Rosewood" is a great movie for those looking for an factual intense drama. This will surely educate audiences about reality. This movie will become a classic in the near following years as it deserves.
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellant movie about what happened in Rosewood,
3.0 out of 5 stars Good storym aterial that falls apart due to Bad execution.,
The devil is in the details and they are a lot missing in Rosewood. In this story about a successful black town, the story focuses way too much on the white characters. A better director and screenwriter would have shown us a blanked and clear picture of what life was like in Rosewood Florida. I wanted to know why the African Americans lived in the town why they wanted to come there, what jobs they did, and who they were. Unfortunately Singleton doesn't answer any of these questions. Instead, he glosses over these details and gives us a hazy picture of a town that looks like any other in Jim Crow America. Worse he fills it with one-dimensional stock black characters. We get the old mammy, the schoolmarm, the angry black businessman and the new guy in town trying to start a new life for himself. Even the white characters come off like White Southern stereotypes. The liberal shopkeeper, the redneck killer, the nervous sheriff, the indifferent judge and the evil white woman get a lot of screen time but do nothing with it. The story completely starts to fall apart after the white woman lies about the rape. The white characters go on a campy lynching rampage that is reminiscent of Godzilla destroying Tokyo; it's sad that John Singletons inept direction trivializes the tragic deaths of African Americans who were lynched during this era. This film is supposed to be based on real life events and real people and they are treated like action movie fodder by Singleton. People we're supposed to care about die, but I didn't get to feel that way because I never got to know anyone because Singleton forgot to let us get to know anyone well enough in the first act of the film. The surviving women and children try to escape the rampage by hiding in the swamp. The remainder of the film devolves into a Jerry Bruckhiemer production as stuff burns up real good and we get a big chase scene as they try to get on a train out of town. The part of the film that angers me most is the scene where the Ving Rhames character is being lynched. He tells his horse Booker T to go and then allows himself to be hung; however while being strangled he miraculously cuts himself down and escapes. This one scene shows us why Singleton will never be a great filmmaker; instead of giving us powerful visuals in a compelling story he treats the source material like a joke. This was supposed to be a film about real people who lived and died in a tragedy not some over the top action flick like Lethal Weapon.
It's a pity that great actors like Ving Rhames, Jon Voight, Don Cheadle and the Late Esther Rolle had to work with Singleton on this project. They give good performances in spite of the shallow material. I wonder what they could have done with a better-written script and a more competent director. The material itself was very interesting and the project had a lot of potential. In the hands of Spike Lee, James Cameron, or Steven Spielberg this truly could have been an epic film. With them directing the film we would have gotten a clear picture of who the people were and what life was like in Rosewood Florida. For John Singleton this is truly a definitive film. When given the tools to make a great film he makes something awful. This is not his Roots. This shows why he needs to go back to film school and learn the roots of filmmaking.
4.0 out of 5 stars one of Rhames' best,
This review is from: Rosewood (VHS Tape)Ving Rhames delivers a great and powerfully compelling part. this movie is about a bunch of rednecks and they think a blackman raped this white woman who claims they did. intense direction by Singleton. the rednecks sure know how to say the N word huh. Don Cheadle and Jon Voight are also great to watch as they try to battle it out with the rednecks with Rhames. this is based on actual events that took place. a moving and if you think about it, scary as hell for its time.
5.0 out of 5 stars A Must See For All Humanity,
5.0 out of 5 stars Change of Heart,
4.0 out of 5 stars HMMM!,
By A Customer
This review is from: Rosewood (VHS Tape)the good guys seemed too good, the bad guys too bad. i found it hard to accept as an unbiased version of what really happened. being half Japanese and half Irish i know something about prejudism and i am sure that like other mental processes like denial, it can be subconscious. And perhaps this is what happened when the script was written.
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Movie Bad DVD,
5.0 out of 5 stars Revealing true horror of the American South,
While Singleton does take some "dramatic license" in the telling of the story of vigilantism gone awry, the movie remains a powerful indictment of prejudice and persecution of a minority that was so prevalent in our past.
This is a not for the squeamish, but it is a story that begs to be told.
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Rosewood [Import] by John Singleton (DVD - 2007)
CDN$ 13.22 CDN$ 13.11