Rosewood (1997)

Ugh.  Director John Singleton's dramatization of a little-known 
piece of Florida history-- when a black town was burned to the 
ground by whites in 1923-- is this month's longest sit.  The pad-
ded (and often predictable) plot is punctuated by increasing acts 
of violence and racial hatred.  No, no punches are pulled, which 
makes for a history lesson as unpleasant as it is important.  The 
technical credits are strong, though, and there's a well-acted cast 
of non-compelling characters.  (But what the Hell is mush-mouthed 
Michael Rooker doing here?  Here's barely intelligible as the local 
law.)  Regrettably, the drama is further diminished by the effect 
that this story is likely to have on the more-reactive members of 
the audience.  Folks get worked-up in the movie, folks get worked-
up in their seats, and everyone ends up talking back to the screen.  
So, when the camera passes a young woman's corpse, and someone be-
hind you invariably yaps "she's dead!," be prepared to turn around 
and shout "gee, do you think so?"  (Rated "R"/139 min.)

Grade: C

Copyright 1997 by Michael J. Legeros

Originally posted to triangle.movies in MOVIE HELL: February 23, 1997

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