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Film Review

By Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat

 

The Women of Brewster Place
Directed by Donna Deitch
Xenon Entertainment Group 03/89 DVD/VHS Feature Film
Not Rated

The Women of Brewster Place aired as a two-part mini-series and is based on Gloria Naylor's award-winning 1982 novel. The drama focuses on seven women who live in a tenement building on a walled-off street named Brewster Place. Each in her own way struggles to overcome the hardships of poverty and the disappointments of shattered dreams.

Oprah Winfrey plays Mattie Michael, a survivor who nurtures the women in this community even when she is hurting inside. Jackee plays her best friend Etta Mae, who is fraying around the edges after a life of pursuing the good times and the company of men. Lynn Whitfield plays Ciel, a mother who is overwhelmed by grief when her young daughter dies in an accident. Robin Givens plays Kiswana Browne, a refugee from suburbia who wants to organize a tenants' association. Phyllis Yvonne Stickney plays Cora Lee, a welfare mother with seven children. Lonette McKee and Paula Kelly portray Lorraine and Theresa, two lesbians whose happiness is destroyed by bigotry and an act of violence.

The Women of Brewster Place is a deeply moral drama about black pride, community, friendship, poverty, prejudice, and change.

 

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