A Gathering of Old Men
A regular day in Louisiana sugarcane plantation changes course when a local white farmer is shot. A group of old, black men takes a courageous step by coming forward en masse to take responsibility for the killing of a white racist, whom one of their members has shot. As the sheriff confronts the suspects, the young plantation owner (Holly Hunter) stands alone in her daring defense of this group of men, provoking racial tension that makes a compelling drama.
Although this movie reveals a black community standing together after a black man kills a white man in self defense, there are some content problems for us with this film. The racial term “nig*er” is used 18 times although a black person calls himself this a couple of times. However, there is another racial term used. We know the filmmakers wanted to make the film realistic but this is a lot of language, not to mention other strong words are used, in a short amount of time.
Also, there is a man who says, “Sometimes you have to stray from the Bible” when confronted with his claim he killed a man. The film is about several black men claiming they killed the white man in order to protect the man who actually shot him, defending his own life. A police officer strikes several of the black men while questioning them. Although this film does show a young white female named Candy (Holly Hunter) who stands with her black friends, this just simply is not a “family” film and we are unable to award our Dove “Family-Approved” Seal to this movie.