‘Showing Roots’ Review
Uzo Aduba and Maggie Grace/Courtest A+E Networks
In Showing Roots, a small Southern town in 1977 is turned upside down when the miniseries, Roots, hits the airwaves. Showing Roots is produced by Tracy Frazier Robinson and directed by Michael Wilson, is a poignant, funny, moving, coming of age film that reflects the social climate of 1977 in a small southern town named…’Whynot’.
Violet (Maggie Grace) is a talented but timid, budding hair stylist who’s struggling to get her license. Her unconventional vision is unappreciated by Shirley (Elizabeth McGovern), the owner of the salon where she works but she is encouraged by her co-worker, Pearl (Uzo Aduba) to believe in herself. Meanwhile, the mini-series, Roots by Alex Haley is being viewed nightly by the townsfolk and emotions in the Black community are riled. Bud (Adam Brody), a young northern engineer, who has recently arrived in town on a bridge construction job, becomes friendly with Violet and helps her along the way to realizing her dream while dealing with the casual racist attitudes of the construction workers.
There is a real sense of community…even though it’s segregated. Hattie (Cicely Tyson), Pearl’s grandmother, brought a feeling of empowerment and of accepting who you are to the forefront. Movies about race can run on borderline insensitivity to culture or make it a complete joke and there may be parts of ‘Showing Roots’ that may draw those parallels, But whatever side of the fence you fall with this film, one cannot discount the underlying struggle of the black experience in a small southern town to find its voice and need for freedom.
Showing Roots is produced by Michael Mailer Films and Ostar Productions in association with Upload Films/AMPM Enterprises. The film is executive produced by Bill Haber, Jeffrey Hayes, Martin Tuchman, Mary Margaret Bell, Tom Wynne, Blythe Frank, Jennifer Gelfer, Christopher J. Wilmont, Joseph Shapiro, Alan Helen, Steven Swarzman and Eduard de Gardiola. The movie is directed by Michael Wilson and written by Susan Batten.
‘Showing Roots’ premieres Thursday, May 26 at 10pm ET/PT
Reviewed by -Wynthea Griffith