- 1 hr 28 min
Dunsmore, a movie released in 2003, is a drama that explores the devastating impact of the United States prison system on the lives of families and communities. The movie is set in the small town of Dunsmore, located in the southern part of the United States. The town is home to a large prison, which serves as the primary employer and source of income for many of its residents. The story revolves around the character of Helen, a loving mother and wife who is deeply affected by her husband's incarceration. Her husband, Ray, has been sentenced to 25 years in prison, leaving Helen to raise their young son, Conrad, on her own. Helen struggles to maintain her dignity and composure in the face of this tremendous challenge. The movie depicts the intense emotional turmoil that prisoners and their families experience. The dehumanization of prisoners is shown through the harsh, overcrowded conditions in the prison, as well as the brutal treatment of the inmates by the guards. The impact of the prison system on the outside community is also explored in this movie. The residents of Dunsmore are divided between those who are employed by the prison and those who are not. The film portrays the power dynamic that exists between the prison employees and the rest of the community. The prison employees feel a sense of superiority over those who do not work at the prison, and this leads to a feeling of resentment and mistrust on both sides. The relationship between Helen and her son Conrad is at the heart of the movie. Conrad is a bright, sensitive child who is deeply affected by his father's absence. He struggles to understand why his father is in prison and why he cannot have a normal family life like other children. Helen tries to shield Conrad from the harsh realities of the prison system, but he eventually becomes aware of the injustices that exist. The character of Helen is portrayed as a strong, resilient woman who is determined to overcome her circumstances. Jeannetta Arnette delivers a powerful performance as Helen, capturing the character's strength and vulnerability in equal measure. Helen's struggles to provide a stable home life for her son while dealing with the emotional and financial challenges of her husband's imprisonment are portrayed with sensitivity and realism. The supporting cast, including Rus Blackwell and W. Earl Brown, deliver strong performances as well. Blackwell plays the role of a sympathetic prison guard who develops a friendship with Helen and Conrad, while Brown plays the role of a resentful prison employee who looks down on the rest of the community. The movie's visual style is understated and naturalistic, with a focus on natural lighting and muted colors. The film's score, composed by Adam Gorgoni, is sparse and atmospheric, adding to the movie's overall sense of emotional weight and realism. Overall, Dunsmore is a powerful and thought-provoking movie that explores the devastating impact of the United States prison system on families and communities. The movie's emphasis on character development and emotional realism make it a must-see for anyone interested in social justice issues.