Blind Faith

Directed By: Ernest R. Dickerson
Written By: Frank Military
Staring: Charles S. Dutton, Courtney B. Vance

First released on the cable channel Showtime in 1998, I had never heard of Blind Faith until I came across it in the Gay/Lesbian section on Netflix.  From just looking at the movie poster, I would not have thought this movie would have gay undertones due to its predominately (some what mainstream) male African American cast.

Beneath the dynamics of the main male characters is a good court drama full of mystery set in racist 1957 Bronx New York.

You have the young 18 year old Charles Williams Jr. (played by Garland Whitt) charged with the murder of a white teen and is facing the electric chair.  His strict burly police officer father Charles Williams (played by Charles S. Dutton).  Charles Junior’s defense lawyer is his uncle and Charles Senior’s brother John Williams (played by Courtney B. Vance).  Rounding out the William’s men is the youngest brother Eddie Williams (played by Kadeem Hardison).

As John prepares the defense for his nephew the murder of the white teen, he realizes the “facts” just don’t make sense.  Seeking to uncover the truth, he is met with resistance and senses a cover up. Not just from the white witnesses but from the police department and Charles Jr’s father; Police Officer Charles Williams, who is fixated on becoming the first black sergeant.  Just what are they attempting to hide?

Let me just say this movie could easily be set in 2012 instead of 1957.  With the same attitudes, racism, detrimental self pride, self hate and homophobia that still exist today within the black community.

Dutton does a great job of making you feel his struggle regardless if you disagree with his point of view.  You sympathize with Vance as he fights what seems like a losing battle, not just in the court room but also with his brothers Charles and Eddie.

There is a scene in which Charles Dutton is arguing loudly with wife Carol (played by Lonette McKee) over the trial of their son off camera.  The camera is focusing on Courtney Vance listening to the argument.  The emotion on his face while listening to Charles viciously cursing at his wife was very moving.


 The strong performances by both Charles S. Dutton and Courtney B. Vance earned them both note worthy accolades. 

The compelling Dutton was nominated for a Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Miniseries or Television Movie and an Independent Spirit Award for Best Supporting Male.  Vance was nominated for an Independent Spirit Award for Best Male Lead. The film itself was nominated for an Independent Spirit Award for Best Screenplay.

If I go into to much detail I will give away the movie’s secrets and mystery but there is a reason it is located in the Gay section on Netflix.

With commanding performances by Dutton and Vance, and themes that I am sure will hit close to home with many viewers, I definitely recommend you view this film!