Is American Violet True Story? American Violet Plot, Cast, Trailer, and More

Is American Violet True Story?

Yes, "American Violet" is based on a true story. The film is inspired by the real-life events surrounding the racially charged drug war scandal that took place in the town of Hearne, Texas. The movie focuses on the experiences of Regina Kelly, one of the individuals caught up in the scandal.

In the film, Regina Kelly's character is portrayed as "Dee," a woman who works at a local diner. She is swept up in a series of unlawful paramilitary drug "sweeps" that lead to the arrest of numerous African American residents of Hearne. These arrests are based on the word of a single unreliable confidential informant, who was coerced by the police to make cases against individuals.

Dee's character is indicted based on the informant's uncorroborated testimony and is faced with a difficult choice: plead guilty and become a convicted felon, losing her rights, or fight the charges and risk losing custody of her children and a lengthy prison sentence. With the help of an ACLU attorney and a former local narcotics officer, Dee decides to take on the district attorney and the unjust criminal justice system.

The film sheds light on the systemic injustices and devastating consequences of the "war on drugs" policies, as well as the efforts made by organizations like the ACLU to bring attention to and reform these issues. The real-life events depicted in the film highlight the challenges faced by many individuals caught in the crosshairs of aggressive law enforcement tactics and biased legal systems.

In summary, "American Violet" is indeed based on a true story, centered around the experiences of Regina Kelly and the broader issues of racial bias and injustice within the criminal justice system.


American Violet Cast



Nicole Beharie

Dee Roberts

Tim Blake Nelson

David Cohen

Will Patton

Sam Conroy

Charles S. Dutton

Reverend Sanders

Alfre Woodard

Alma Roberts

Michael O'Keefe

Calvin Beckett

Paul David Story

David Higgins


Darrell Hughes

Malcolm Barrett

Byron Hill

Karimah Westbrook

Claudia Johnson

Tim Ware

Mark Shelby

Scott A. Martin

Jerry Arnold

John Will Clay


Pamala Tyson

Gladys Williams

Carol Sutton

Charlise Leray

Zardis Nichols


Lucinda Jenney

Leona Conroy

Paul Guilfoyle

Judge Belmont

Louis Herthum

Officer Smith

David Warshofsky

Robert Foster

Jerry Leggio


Michael Scialabba


Janet Shea


Lance E. Nichols

Mr. Moss

Deneen Tyler


Sue Rock

Elizabeth Beckett

Dane Rhodes


Samantha Beaulieu

Mrs. Lloyd

Jon Eyez


Tarra Riggs


Jackson Beals

Officer Carter

Ron Flagge

Herman Green

Christopher McCann

Joe Fisher

Portia Cue


Richard Zeringue

Furniture Store Manager

Lindsay Soileau

Julie Beckett

Roslyn D. Evans


Seth Donavan

Tango Dancer


American Violet Summary

You might recall the news story from the year 2000, where law enforcement in a small Texas town carried out the arrest of 40 black individuals on drug charges during a sweeping operation in a public housing complex. Triggered by the tip of a solitary informant with a dubious background, this indiscriminate arrest included Dee, a young mother of four, who, despite having no drugs on her person and no history of drug involvement, was apprehended simply for protecting her child during the chaos.

The film "American Violet" sheds light on the motives behind such raids with minimal or absent evidence. Pleading guilty serves the district attorney's agenda of building a reputation as a crime fighter, despite their involvement in the very crime they accuse. A guilty plea results in eviction from public housing and a permanent felony record. However, if Dee caves in, she regains freedom and custody of her children from her unscrupulous ex-husband, who has a history of child abuse.

This narrative is rooted in a true case, although the names have been altered. The film exposes a recurring reality, particularly in Texas, which has a disheartening history of law enforcement misconduct. Interspersed with political commercials from the Gore-Bush campaign of that time, the film underscores the state's flawed justice system under then-Governor Bush.

The remarkable Nicole Beharie, a recent Juilliard graduate, embodies Dee Roberts with unwavering conviction. Her performance showcases Dee's vulnerability, determination, and refusal to plead guilty to an unfounded accusation. As her mother Alma, Alfre Woodard delivers a powerful portrayal, attempting to reconcile the harsh racial climate of their town with pragmatism.

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) takes notice when Alma's steadfastness prompts her arrest. Attorney David Cohen (Tim Blake Nelson) is dispatched, enlisting former district attorney Sam Conroy (Will Patton) as his local counterpart. The attorney duo battles a corrupt D.A., Calvin Beckett (Michael O'Keefe), who seems unconcerned with guilt or innocence, only with political optics.

While some may critique "American Violet" for adhering to a mainstream formula and a clear agenda, the strength of the performances, particularly Beharie's, shines through. Alfre Woodard's resolute demeanor, Tim Blake Nelson's restrained determination, and Will Patton's redemption-seeking portrayal contribute to the film's emotional depth. In essence, "American Violet" might not be groundbreaking in style, yet its message prompts introspection about justice, truth, and the potentially devastating impact of legal abuse.

American Violet Trailer


American Violet Movie Plot

Set against the backdrop of the 2000 presidential election, "American Violet" follows the journey of Dee Roberts (Nicole Beharie), a young African-American mother of four living in the town of Melody, which is a representation of Hearne, Texas. Dee, a 24-year-old single mother, works at a local diner to make ends meet.

One fateful day, a forceful group led by the influential local district attorney, Calvin Beckett (Michael O'Keefe), storms into the diner and initiates a sweep through Dee's housing project. In a shocking turn of events, Dee is arrested by the police, handcuffed, and taken to the women's county prison. She finds herself indicted based solely on the unverified testimony of a questionable police informant who is facing his own drug-related charges. To her dismay, Dee is accused of being a drug dealer.

Despite her clean record and the absence of any incriminating evidence found during the raid or subsequent searches, Dee faces a heart-wrenching decision: either plead guilty and carry the burden of being a convicted felon or remain imprisoned and confront the charges, a move that could potentially cost her custody of her children and subject her to a lengthy prison sentence spanning two decades.

Amid the counsel of her mother (Alfre Woodard), Dee stands at a crossroads where her freedom and her children's well-being hang in the balance. She bravely chooses to challenge the district attorney's accusations. With the support of an ACLU attorney (Tim Blake Nelson) and a former local narcotics officer (Will Patton), Dee embarks on a courageous journey to take on the unjust Texas legal system and fight for justice.

Historical Event Behind the Movie

"American Violet" draws its inspiration from the real-life civil rights lawsuit Regina Kelly v. John Paschall, a case that uncovered systemic injustices within the criminal justice system and racial bias in drug-related arrests. This lawsuit was filed on behalf of 15 African-American residents of Hearne, Texas, who faced drug charges following a series of aggressive drug sweeps. The ACLU referred to these sweeps as "paramilitary," indicating the use of aggressive and militaristic tactics.

The lawsuit targeted John Paschall and the South Central Texas Narcotics Task Force, accusing them of conducting racially motivated drug sweeps for over 15 years in the town of Hearne. The film's fictional setting of Harmon County mirrors Robertson County, Texas, where Paschall was an elected official. Notably, in 2012, Paschall experienced electoral defeat, reflecting the changing tide of public opinion regarding his actions.

In 2005, the ACLU and Robertson County reached a settlement, leading to the dismissal of the individuals named in the lawsuit, including John Paschall. This settlement indicated a recognition of the wrongs committed and aimed to bring some form of resolution to the affected individuals.

The aftermath of the real-life events further underscores the issues at hand. In 2016, John Paschall faced legal consequences unrelated to the initial case. He surrendered his law license and pleaded guilty to a felony charge involving the misuse of estate funds. This verdict resulted in a jail sentence, probation, and a fine.

Regina Kelly, the real-life counterpart to the film's protagonist, continued to reside in Hearne until 2009, further highlighting the personal impact of the case and its aftermath on the lives of those involved. The factual basis of "American Violet" underscores the depth of injustice and systemic problems within the criminal justice system and serves as a reminder of the ongoing struggle for equality and fair treatment.

American Violet Where to Watch?

"Viewers have a range of choices when it comes to watching 'American Violet.' There are options available at no cost, including 'Absolutely Free,' 'At No Cost,' 'Without Charge,' 'Complimentary,' and 'At Zero Expense.' For those looking to acquire the film, it can be rented or purchased in various formats. Renting or purchasing the Standard Definition (SD) version is available at a reasonable price of $0.99, and the High Definition (HD) version can also be obtained for the same cost.

Additionally, the High Definition (HD) version can be acquired or rented without any charge. If you prefer higher quality, you can opt for the High Definition (HD) rental or purchase, available at $3.99. To watch 'American Violet,' you can explore platforms like Amazon Instant Video, Google Play, and Vudu for rental or purchase options. Furthermore, the film can be enjoyed without any expense on streaming platforms such as Pluto, Plex, and Tubi."

Disclaimer: The above information is for general informational purposes only. All information on the Site is provided in good faith, however we make no representation or warranty of any kind, express or implied, regarding the accuracy, adequacy, validity, reliability, availability or completeness of any information on the Site.

Post a Comment

Previous Post Next Post