This top-drawer, made-for-TV docudrama exhumes a deplorable Civil Rights-era event and chronicles a 30-year crusade for justice. His childhood memories clouded by time, Tom Cherry (Tom Sizemore) travels to Texas to care for his aged father, Bobby Frank Cherry (Richard Jenkins). A prime suspect in the notorious Atlanta church bombing that killed four little girls in 1963, racist Bobby Frank beat the rap; by the he left Birmingham, J. Edgar Hoover had pulled the plug on the investigation. The intensive detective work of Agent Dalton Strong (Colm Feore) couldn't nail klansman Frank or his co-conspirators, in part because the young Tom Cherry (Lachlan Murdoch) testified that his father was with him at the time he would have to have been planting explosives. In the present, Tom is interested in patching up his troubled relationship with his father and initially resents the renewed interest of the justice department. He adheres to his filial duty, even though Bobby Frank blighted the lives of his two sons; Tom's brother is currently languishing in jail. Tom decides to build a house for his trailer-trash father and hires African-American laborer Garrick Jones (Ving Rhames), whith whom he forges a friendship that infuriates Bobby Frank. Meanwhile, Agent Strong, now a consultant for the FBI, keeps approaching Tom and making him aware that Bobby Frank's account of events is filled with inconsistencies. Tom's growing closeness to Garrick makes him even more uncertain about the past. But it's not until other inmates kill Tom's brother that his bad memories flood back. Tom first recalls incidents in which Bobby Frank abused his wife, then remembers the depth and extent of his bigotry. A grand jury convenes 35 years after the bombings: Will Tom's conscience finally free him from a devotion his father doesn't deserve? This profound drama is a riveting exploration of a sorry chapter in American history, as well as a philosophical investigation of the emotional consequences of cooperating with the law against a loved one. Without downplaying the ugliness of Bobby Frank's crime, the production evokes the heartache of betraying someone for whom you've spent your life making excuses.
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- Released: 2002
- Rating: NR
- Review: This top-drawer, made-for-TV docudrama exhumes a deplorable Civil Rights-era event and chronicles a 30-year crusade for justice. His childhood memories clouded by time, Tom Cherry (Tom Sizemore) travels to Texas to care for his aged father, Bobby Frank Ch… (more)