Directed by Marco Williams.
Release Year: ?
Review Date: 1/30/07
"Banished" was another film that I just
knew, from the jump, had a subject matter that would be a winner.
While the execution of this film could have been stronger in more
able hands, there's no doubting the power of the information
In the early 1900s, hundreds of African
American families were displaced (i.e. racially cleansed) from their
land, mainly through intimidation from white families in these
select areas. Director Marco Williams takes a closer look at
this past by examining three different cases of this displacement
scattered through the country: southern Georgia, Arkansas and
greater St. Louis; in each county, there are almost no black
families left and the director wants to know why.
The subject matter, again, is a whopper.
I thought that the presentation of this subject could have used a
little work; the director's interviews with random white citizens in
each county are sometimes frightening in their honesty, sometimes
downright hilarious...the black families that were selected to be
followed during their journey to learn the truth weren't as
passionate as one would hope, given the situation. We're
talking about tracking down information on why certain white
families took away the land of their forefathers, and sometimes,
it's more of a ho-hum investigation. The random jazz score
helps lend to a passive nature with "Banished"; I felt that this
hurt the proceedings more than they helped the film.
Still, stories like this--and, the racist
elements that accompany any work like this--need to be told, and for
me, reminders like this are a very good, very positive thing.
Hopefully this film will eventually make it to theaters; with a
proper bit of editing, I think that "Banished" could be great.
Rating: $9.50 Show
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Bellview Rating System:
"Opening Weekend": This is
the highest rating a movie can receive. Reserved for movies that
exhibit the highest level of acting, plot, character development,
setting...or Salma Hayek. Not necessarily in that order.
"$X.XX Show": This price
changes each year due to the inflation of movie prices; currently,
it is the $9.50 Show. While not technically perfect, this is a
movie that will still entertain you at a very high level.
"Undercover Brother" falls into this category; it's no "Casablanca",
but you'll have a great time watching. The $9.50 Show won't win any
Oscars, but you'll be quoting lines from the thing for ages (see
"Matinee": An average movie
that merits no more than a $6.50 viewing at your local theater.
Seeing it for less than $9.50 will make you feel a lot better about
yourself. A movie like "Blue Crush" fits this category; you leave
the theater saying "That wasn't too bad...man, did you see that
Lakers game last night?"
"Rental": This rating
indicates a movie that you see in the previews and say to your
friend, "I'll be sure to miss that one." Mostly forgettable, you
couldn't lose too much by going to Hollywood Video and paying $3 to
watch it with your sig other, but you would only do that if the
video store was out of copies of "Ronin." If you can, see this
movie for free. This is what your TV Guide would give "one and a
"Hard Vice": This rating is
the bottom of the barrel. A movie that only six other human beings
have witnessed, this is the worst movie I have ever seen. A Shannon
Tweed "thriller," it is so bad as to be funny during almost every
one of its 84 minutes, and includes the worst ending ever put into a
movie. Marginally worse than "Cabin Boy", "The Avengers" or
"Leonard, Part 6", this rating means that you should avoid this
movie at all costs, or no costs, EVEN IF YOU CAN SEE IT FOR FREE!
(Warning: strong profanity will be used in all reviews of "Hard