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A Lesson Before Dying (TV)

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Original title
A Lesson Before Dying (TV)
Running time
105 min.
United States United States
Ann Peacock (Novel: Ernest J. Gaines)
Ernest Troost
Donald M. Morgan
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Ellen M. Krass Productions / HBO / Spanky Pictures
Drama | Racism. 1940s. TV Movie
Synopsis / Plot
Louisiana 1948, Jefferson (Mekhi Phifer) is wrongly accused of the murder of a white shopkeeper. Racial inequality at the time is so pervasive that the defence lawyers' argument at jefferson's trial is that his client is not worthy of conviction.

Outraged by this statement, Jefferson's godmother enlists the reluctant aid of teacher Grant Wiggins (Don Cheadle), to teach him to "be a man". As in Ernest J. Gaines' award winning novel, the movie goes beyond the conflict between the races to explore divisions that splinter the black community.

Education versus religion, dark skin versus light. Thanks to masterful performances from Cheadle and Phifer as well as a thoughtful screenplay by Amy Peacock, A Lesson Before Dying goes even further examining, what it means to be human and the responsibility a man has to himself and to his community.
1999: Emmy: Best TV Movie and Screenplay. 7 Nominations, Including Best Directing
1999: Directors Guild of America (DGA): Nominated for Best Director (Miniseries/TV Movie)
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