Film Screening of "American Violet"

In the midst of historic reforms to the Rockefeller Drug Laws, the ACLU and NYCLU will host a preview screening of AMERICAN VIOLET, the highly anticipated new film inspired by the true story of a drug raid that took place in Texas in 2000. A discussion on issues of race, drug enforcement practices and the legal system, with two people whose lives and work inspired the film, will follow the screening. AMERICAN VIOLET is inspired by the real life story of Regina Kelly (whose on-screen character, Dee Roberts, is played by Nicole Beharie), a black single mother living in a small Texas town who was arrested in 2000 in a military style drug raid. Kelly, who was innocent, was arrested for felony cocaine distribution. Instead of agreeing to plead guilty, Kelly fought the charges with the help of an ACLU lawyer, Graham Boyd (played by Tim Blake Nelson). Eventually, the charges against Regina were dropped, and the case resulted in a change in Texas law, whereby cases can no longer be prosecuted based solely on the claims of a single confidential informant. The District Attorney who was responsible for the raid remains in office. The film, which played at such prestigious film festivals as Telluride and SXSW will be released by Samuel Goldwyn Films on Friday, April 17. Following the screening of AMERICAN VIOLET, Boyd will participate in a panel discussion on the real-life case that inspired the film and the issues that sparked the events of 2000. He will be joined by Regina Kelly and NYCLU Executive Director Donna Lieberman. ACLU Executive Director Anthony Romero will make opening remarks.
Date: 
Thu, 04/02/2009 - 7:00pm - 10:00pm
Location: 
2 Avenue of the Americas
New York, NY 10013
United States
Permission to Reprint: This article is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution license.
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