Time Out says

Conscientiously made, with a script by a well-known black playwright and small parts filled in by locals, this attempts to go some way beyond the merely nostalgic in its recreation of the life of a black sharecropper's family during the Depression. Beneath the apparent resignation of the characters, there lurks a determination to beat the life they've been forced into. It even points, through the boys' discovery of an all-black school which teaches black history and black pride, to a militant future. But if you compare Ritt's film to Third World movies about oppressed people living in startlingly similar conditions, you notice what's missing: the feeling of bone-edge existence and incipient anger. Those films serve an immediate function, to change the lives of the people they're made about and for; Ritt's film must respond to the needs of an entertainment industry, and in its desire to be uplifting, leaves its characters one-dimensional without ensuring that the one dimension is heroic.


Release details

105 mins

Cast and crew

Martin Ritt
Lonne Elder III
Cicely Tyson
Paul Winfield
Kevin Hooks
Carmen Mathews
Taj Mahal
James Best
Yvonne Jarrell
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