Blind Faith

Photo Courtesy of the Sundance Film Festival

Well-crafted dramas focusing on African-American families are still a rarity, which in this day and age is a travesty. Thus Ernest Dickerson's period piece, Blind Faith, set in the 1950s, is exceptional for a number of reasons, but foremost for its overall excellence in execution. With absolutely sterling performances from its first-rate cast, along with terrific dialogue and scenarios, Blind Faith transcends the limitations of usual cop/courtroom melodrama and literally resonates with emotional power and purpose.

The story centers around an attorney, John Williams (Courtney B. Vance), and his two brothers, Charles (Charles S. Dutton) and Eddie (Kadeem Hardison). Charles is the acknowledged patriarch of the family, a respected police officer with a conservative outlook and demeanor in line with the white institutions he must work with. When his son is arrested and accused of murdering a white boy, his brother John must take on the impossible task of defending him in what appears to be a hopeless case since Charles Jr. has confessed. What follows taxes all the family bonds as John and Charles confront the ugly racially and ethnically loaded realities and attitudes that will determine the outcome of the trial.

As an inquiry into the conflicting ideologies and value systems that are often presumed to be uniform in the black community, Blind Faith is potent and edifying storytelling that deserves accolades for all its creators. Dickerson deserves particular credit for the marvelous style he brings to this very contemporary vision.

- Geoffrey Gilmore

Directed by: Ernest R. Dickerson
Written by: Frank Military
Starring: Charles Dutton, Courtney B. Vance, Kadeem Hardison, Lonette McKee, Garland Whitt, Karen Glave
Produced by: Nick Grillo
Original Music by: Ron Carter

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