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Film Review

By Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat

 

Color of Courage
Directed by Lee Rose
Universal 10/99 DVD/VHS Feature Film
PG -- language, thematic elements

Prejudice is a disease of the mind in which we project our feelings of self-disgust, anger, alienation, and paranoia on others whom we perceive to be different. One way to combat prejudice is to replace the hostile imagination with the moral imagination: one animated by hospitality, empathy, self-esteem, and compassion.

This deeply ethical television drama written by Kathleen McGhee-Anderson and directed by Lee Rose is set in an all-white neighborhood in Detroit, Michigan, during 1944. When Mac McGhee (Roger G. Smith) moves into this snooty community with his wife Minnie (Lynn Whitfield) and their two sons, word spreads like wildfire that they are colored. Anna Sipes (Linda Hamilton) welcomes her new neighbor but soon learns that the community has a covenant barring Negroes from living there. Anna's husband Benjamin (Bruce Greenwood), trying desperately to be accepted by the influential men in the area, agrees to let his name be used in a suit against the McGhees.

The drama shows how the hostile imagination can tarnish community and threaten family solidarity. The McGhees heroically stand their ground and Anna defies both her husband and her bigoted neighbors in pursuit of her friendship with Minnie. In the end, the home is the place where the moral imagination must be cultivated and nourished.

 

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Reviews and database copyright 1970 2012
by Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat
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