Monday, January 21, 2013


A family of sharecroppers in the backwoods of Depression-era Louisiana faces even more dire times when their proud patriarch (Paul Winfield) steals a roast and is sentenced to hard time on the chain gang. With their mother (Cicely Tyson) looking after the farm, the eldest son (Kevin Hooks) sets out on a trek by foot to discover the surreptitious location of the work camp where his father is being held, and falls in with a kindhearted teacher at a private school along the way. From William H. Armstrong's novel, "Sounder" is a genuine and heartfelt social movie, with indelible period settings, and a set of fine performances, from its remarkable leads to the flavorful supporters. It was made by Martin Ritt, a director who made varying types of films ("Hud", "The Spy Who Came in from the Cold"), but always packed a wallop by focusing on their human elements, which is exactly the case here.