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  • "Free of Eden" is the story of one young African-American woman's determined escape from the ghetto through enlightenment and education. Although the film gets sidetracked periodically, it never derails and stays focused on the principals, Sidney Poitier's character, the teacher; his real life daughter Sydney's character, the pupil; and their inspiring and heartwarming story. A movie with a message and time well spent.
  • fmwongmd25 October 2019
    A well told tale of gritty determination well acted by Sidney Poitier and Sydney Poitier.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Young girl Nicole, dropout in Eden Parks, Brooklyn, becomes victim of a lethal robbery in her poverty-stricken neighborhood. She loses her dead-end job and feels she has no future anymore and chooses to do something about it. She gets private lessons from her old school teacher Will Cleamons (played by her actual father Sidney Poitier), becomes educated and in the end will leave her poor backgrounds for a bright future...

    Although the story is powerful in its message I thought the movie itself was rather mediocre in its workmanship. The story felt contrived at some points and I didn't feel I was watching a 'real' story but rather a moral fable. The directing could have been a lot better. The acting also isn't that great although Sydney Tamiia Poitier does a decent job in her first big role as an actress.

    But this doesn't mean I didn't enjoy watching it. The uplifting message of this girl trying to escape her disconsolate fate certainly touched me and seeing her succeed even inspired me.
  • The setup grips the viewer early in the story and follows through to the end, realistic characters and dialogue with magical chemistry between Poitier and daughter, Sydney. The viewing public is going to see much more of this budding, young actress. Rashad shows us her seldom-seen, rich dramatic talent. Much credit to the direction and camera for some intriguing angles seldom seen before. Above all, this movie carries a message for everybody. It is a story about something!!
  • Sorry, but the highest vote I could manage for this movie was a seven. I'm not aware of any other offerings by Sydney Tamiia Poitier, but I was impressed with her performance, thought disappointed that she didn't have the "project" look or sound. Some slang, some profanity, a lack of education but not enough spelled out in the script to be totally convincing- that she had a long way to climb. That shortcoming is the fault of the script and the director. In terms of her acting, though, I felt she gave a very good performance if this was her first time in a lead role for a motion picture. I also liked Phylicia Rashad's performance as well. I felt the story was nicely woven together- mixing Nicole (Sydney), Will Clemons (Sidney Poitier), Teresa (Naomi Gaskin) and Desiree (Phylicia) together to reach a common goal. Overall, after anyone watches this movie, they should be able to leave wondering what contributions can they make to improve not only their own lives, but what influence can they also have on others. You can definitely rise from the couch on a high note with this movie.