24 June 2001 | snake77
A superior film with a meaningful message
This can be a tough video to find, but when I finally did it turned out to be well worth the effort. This is a great film, it rates right up with "Citizen X" as one of the best made for HBO movies. Laurence Fishburne is terrific as Socrates Fortlow, an ex-con living in inner L.A. and attempting to carve a new life for himself while just barely getting by. Fishburne gives the character real grit, anger, and pride, but most of all he shows us a man who is committed to living life honorably after making some very serious mistakes. You can feel the frustration of a man who is trying to live right in a world that is seldom fair, but he won't give in to the temptation to make an easy buck or to compromise his principles. The film is presented as a series of intertwining stories about the people in Fortlow's life, and the other actors in the film are superb - there is never a moment that doesn't feel real. The stories all have meaning - love, prejudice, empathy, sorrow, friendship, honor and death. It's not often that a film says this much without seeming to, and it's not often you see a film this moving. If your video store doesn't have it, be like Socrates and just keep coming back and protesting loudly until they do.