River Of Grass
Cozy and Lee go on the lam after an accidental shooting in Kelly Reichardt's debut feature
On Film4: 4 Sep 1:00AM
A war veteran wrongly convicted of murder is placed at the mercy of the sadisitic guards in a Georgia chain gang. A moving indictment of the US justice system's inhumanity and the legal system's worst failings
The aching agony of this true story is heightened by the continued existence of such barbarity.
Based on Robert E Burns' autobiography from the 1920s, it follows the tragedy of a World War One veteran, James Allen (Muni) who gets mixed up in a robbery and ends up on a Southern chain gang. He escapes the stinking, brutal conditions and later marries, but the woman betrays him. He is returned to prison but escapes again, a pathetic ruin of the man he was.
A searing Oscar-nominated performance from Paul Muni as the desperate James Allen and powerful uncompromising direction ensure that this film is as harrowing and vital today as it ever was.
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