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THE RISING PLACE
USA: Flatland Pictures
Cast: Laurel Holloman, Elise Neal, Gary Cole, Mark Webber, Bill Campbell, Alice Drummond, Frances Fisher, Frances Sternhagen, Liam Aiken, S Epatha Merkerson, Beth Grant, Mason Gamble, Tess Harper, Jennifer Holliday, Scott Openshaw, Jackson Walker, Debra Heitman, Marco St John, Nate Bynum, Julia LaShae
Director: Tom Rice
USA: 93 mins
USA Rated: PG-13 for elements of violence
USA Release Date: 8 November 2002 (Limited Release - Los Angeles and New York)
Written and directed by first-time filmmaker Tom Rice, THE RISING PLACE is set in the Mississippi Delta in the 1940's, and is a delicate look at a young woman's passionate quest for self awareness and acceptance in a time of social injustice and world war.
Virginia Wilder (Frances Fisher) visits her Aunt Millie (Alice Drummond) for Christmas and finds a collection of letters from World War II. Flashing back from the present to the 1940s, the letters reveal much about her aunt's life as a young woman, the toils of her friendship with a young black girl, and the climate of prejudice that surrounds her and her loved ones.
When young Emily (Laurel Holloman) becomes pregnant out of wedlock by a soldier, everything is turned upside down. The support of her best friends, Wilma Watson (Elise Neal) and Will Bacon (Mark Webber), and the unconditional love of her mother (Tess Harper) are all that hold Emily together as she is shunned by her peers, her town and even her own father (Gary Cole).
The strength of her spirit carries her through tragedy and out into the world where she boldly challenges the prejudice by simply deciding to be her own woman. She accepts the disapproval of others, and remains loyal to her friends, standing firmly by her convictions.