- 1 hr 45 min
Sounder is a powerful 1972 film directed by Martin Ritt, and based on the novel by William H. Armstrong. The film surrounds the life a depression-era African American family of sharecroppers, who are forced to face the harsh realities of racism and injustice after the father is imprisoned for stealing food. David Lee Morgan (Kevin Hooks) is the eldest son of Nathan Lee Morgan (Paul Winfield) and Rebecca Morgan (Cecily Tyson). David hunts with his father and his family dog, Sounder, who is also a fierce protector. Although David dreams of going to school, he must face the bleak reality that education is only dream because of his race and the hard economic times. David's mother Rebecca works hard as a washer woman to feed the family but she barely earns enough to buy food. With his children facing starvation, Nathan burglarizes a store and steals some meat. He is arrested by the sheriff (James Best) and sentenced to hard time at prison work farm. Eager to find out where his father is, David embarks on a journey across Louisiana to find him. His mission leads him to a kindly African American school teacher, Miss Camille (Janet McLachlin), who takes him in, feeds him, and allows him to attend her class. David's time with Miss Camille gives him a new perspective on life. He returns home to his family, who is faced with bringing the crops in on time without the help of his father. Once Nathan is released from jail, David expresses his desire to return to Miss Camille's school. Although Nathan is skeptical, in his heart, he knows it will only help David in the long run. Although Sounder produces a realistic portrait of the racism African Americans faced in decades past, it captures the strength, grace, and courage they endured to survive.