"In the trenches of a racial war"
What You Need To Know:
This movie has many positive Christian elements. Wright's wife has a strong faith and is willing to risk her life to take a stand against violence. Other positive Christian elements include an emphasis on loving families, a positive portrayal of prayer and Gospel music. On the negative side, some whites leave a baptism service with their guns to participate in racial violence, and one blames God for establishing a social order of white supremacy. At the end, the film manipulates moviegoers into feeling good about revenge, even though that revenge is from man, not God's. This thought-provoking movie for adult viewers has nudity, sexual situations and many racial slurs
(Pa, Ab, CC, LLL, VVV, SSS, NNN A, D, M) Pagan worldview with extensive racist language & violence, but also including many, strong Christian references; 10 profanities, 8 obscenities & 56 vulgarities; extensive violence including lynchings, fatal shootings, including shooting a crippled man, beating a woman after an adulterous affair, group beatings, arson, reference to body parts being cut off, reference to rape, reference to cock fight, reference to babies being killed, portrayal of Ku Klux Klan, & children forced to view violence; graphic adulterous sex; extensive male & female nudity; alcohol abuse; smoking; and, lying and corrupt court and law enforcement officials.
ROSEWOOD is a historical drama based on the true story of a small, thriving black community in Florida in the 1920s. When a woman from a nearby struggling white community lies and says she was assaulted by a black man, a racial war is ignited with raw hostility, graphic violence and innocent victims. The consequences of the lie are tragic as the violence snowballs in this story, told with powerful historical accuracy.
In this racial war, we see human nature at its best and worst. White mobs indiscriminately hunt and kill African Americans as if they are animals, and a festive atmosphere surrounds the hunts. However, the story centers around two adversaries, Mann (Ving Rhames), a black World War I veteran who wanders into Rosewood shortly before the violence begins, and John Wright (Jon Voight), the lone white shopkeeper and resident of Rosewood. Mann and Wright put their differences aside in order to assist women and children from Rosewood who are hiding in a nearby swamp to escape the violence. The movie explores the developing love relationship between Mann and Scrappie (Elise Neal), a young schoolteacher in Rosewood.
Another subplot centers on the relationship between Wright, his second wife, who is a Christian, and their children. Wright’s wife has a strong faith and is willing to risk her life to take a stand against violence. Other positive Christian elements include an emphasis on loving families, a positive portrayal of prayer at a meal and Gospel music woven throughout the film. There is a reference to an ultimate judgment day for the instigators of the violence. Also, a son leaves his father after he attempts to teach him “to become a man” by participating in racist violence.
On the negative side, some white Christians are portrayed as hypocrites when they leave a baptism service with their guns to participate in racial violence. Also, a racist blames God for establishing a social order of white supremacy. At the end, the film manipulates moviegoers into feeling good about revenge, even though that violent revenge is from a man’s hands, not God’s.
Director John Singleton (BOYZ N THE HOOD), who was the youngest individual and first African-American nominated for the Academy Award as Best Director, is certain to initiate discussions about race relations with this latest movie. While moviegoers may find it difficult to hear and watch the graphic nature of the language, violence and sex, the film is bound to elicit strong emotions of anger and distaste regarding the mistreatment of African Americans.
In an ironic twist, the medal that Mann earned in World War I, which he gives to Scrappy as a sign of his love, is in the shape of a cross. Despite the religious symbolism, most of the characters are portrayed as relying on human strength for fighting racism and violence, instead of seeking God’s guidance.