Down In The Delta

MPAA Rating: PG-13

Entertainment: +3

Content: +2

This uplifting story of a black family's coming together after many years of separation is directed by author Maya Angelou. Loretta (Alfre Woodard) has become a drunk and drug addict in the slums of Chicago. Her mother, Rosa Lynn (Mary Alice), struggles daily with Loretta's two children, 11-year-old Thomas (Mpho Koaho) and 5-year-old Tracy (Kulani Hassen). Tracy is mentally retarded and Thomas must deal daily with the neighborhood gangs. This bleak existence prompts Rosa Lynn to swallow her pride and write to Earl (Al Freeman Jr.), her dead husband's brother who lives in Mississippi, to ask for his help. Earl reluctantly agrees to Loretta and her children spending the summer with him and his wife, Annie (Esther Rolle). The transition from the slums of Chicago to the sleepy, laid-back lifestyle of the Deep South proves to be very difficult, especially for Loretta. As she connects with her family roots, learns the rich history of her heritage and sees her children thrive, the arrogant single mom experiences, in her own words, rebirth. It's hard to single out one outstanding performance - they are all wonderful. Don't miss this holiday treat for all family members over 12 years old.

Early scenes of Loretta's drinking and drug use in a crack house keep DOWN IN THE DELTA from a PG rating, but they are essential to the film's theme of redemption. She stays out all night, sleeps all day and mixes soda pop with her daughter's milk to quiet her. After applying for a job as a cashier and being too humiliated to admit she can't add, Loretta escapes into a drug induced blackout. Her mother hunts her down and literally drags her out of the crack house. Uncle Earl becomes the father Loretta never knew. He insists Loretta help out at his successful restaurant and attend church to earn self-respect. Her uncle's dignity and his compassion in caring for his wife afflicted with Alzheimers open Lorettas eyes and heart to the real meaning of family. A few crude words, one s word and two profanities are the films only foul language. There is no violence, sex or nudity. DOWN IN THE DELTA is a real winner.

Preview Reviewer: Mary Draughon

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: Several (5) times-Mild 4, Moderate 1

Obscene Language: One (s word)

Profanity: Few (2) times-Exclamatory (sweet Baby Jesus, Lord)

Violence: None

Sex: None

Nudity: None

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: Once (implies that woman prostitutes herself)

Drugs: Several times-Alcohol drinking and drug abuse (woman high on drugs, drinks whiskey out of bottle, passes out)

Other: Themes of redemption, importance of family, need to earn self-respect

Running Time: 111 minutes
Intended Audience: Ages 12 and older

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