The Sky Is Gray

Watch The Sky Is Gray

  • NR
  • 1980
  • 46 min
  • 7.3  (82)

The Sky Is Gray is a powerful and emotional drama film released in 1980, based on a short story by Ernest J. Gaines. The story takes place during the 1960s and centers around a young African-American boy named James, portrayed excellently by James Bond III, and his mother, played by Olivia Cole, who are enduring the hardships of being Black in the South.

The story is set in Louisiana, during a time when segregation is still prevalent, and the Civil Rights Movement is stirring. Despite the challenges they face, James and his mother remain optimistic and dedicated to bettering their lives. James' mother is a strong-willed, hard-working woman who instills hope and resilience in her son, teaching him life lessons about being proud of his heritage and standing up for his beliefs.

The movie opens with James and his mother making their way through a snowy landscape to a dentist's office. James has been complaining of toothaches, and they live too far away to make regular trips to the dentist. They are joined by a white woman, Octavia, played by Margaret Avery, who befriends James and his mother on the bus ride.

Throughout the movie, James faces racial discrimination and injustice, but he also finds moments of kindness, as demonstrated by his friendship with Octavia. James is an intelligent boy who is aware of the injustices, and is willing to stand up to them when necessary. When a white man humiliates James and his mother at a local diner, he stands up to the man and gives him a piece of his mind.

As they wait for James' tooth to be examined, James and his mother interact with other patients who are also struggling with the systemic racism of the time. The conversation between James and his mother is a standout moment in the film, as it shows the real-life struggles of African-American families of the era. They discuss the difficulty of finding work and how the white community doesn't provide the same opportunities to them as it does to whites.

The Sky Is Gray is a powerful film which offers an honest portrayal of the United States during the Civil Rights era. It's a film that is heartbreaking, yet inspiring. The performances from the lead actors are top-notch. James Bond III is exceptional in his role as James. He seamlessly portrays the character's youthfulness, innocence, and maturity. Olivia Cole is also outstanding as James' mother. She portrays her character with depth and grace, making her a truly strong and admirable woman.

Margaret Avery is a talented actress who is part of the late 20th-century zeitgeist. This movie is further testament to her acting prowess. She brings light to the movie and offers a valuable perspective on racial relations with the addition of her character.

The film's director, Stan Lathan, ensures that the audience is fully immersed in the world being portrayed. He doesn't shy away from showing the ugliness of racism, punctuating conversations and interactions with stark moments of human cruelty.

The cinematography in The Sky Is Gray is also noteworthy. The film's colors are subdued, reflecting the somber tone of the story. The camera often frames James and his mother in isolated moments, emphasizing their loneliness and struggle.

The movie's soundtrack is sparse but effective, utilizing music only when necessary. When music is used, it's typically an instrumental piece that heightens tension and emotion.

The film's pacing is consistent throughout the entire running time. The slow-paced first act allows the film to offer background on the story and the characters. The second act maintains the tension and angst through James' interactions with his mother and the outside world. The third act balances this tension with resolution and hope.

Overall, The Sky Is Gray is a remarkable drama that offers a frank portrayal of the challenges African-Americans faced during the Civil Rights era. The performances from the lead actors are exceptional, the cinematography is striking, and the director handles the sensitive material with care. It's a must-watch for anyone interested in history, social justice, and human connection.

The Sky Is Gray is a 1980 drama with a runtime of 46 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 7.3.

Where to Watch The Sky Is Gray
The Sky Is Gray is available to watch free on Crackle, Plex, Tubi TV and Kanopy. It's also available to stream, download and buy on demand at Amazon Prime, The Roku Channel, Amazon and Vudu. Some platforms allow you to rent The Sky Is Gray for a limited time or purchase the movie and download it to your device.
  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    46 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    7.3  (82)