The mission of The Department of Afro-American Research Arts and Culture to identify the global significance of the creative contributions pioneered by an international diaspora of Blackness
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Sunday, November 11, 2012

Always Outnumbered, Always Outgunned (1998, TV Movie)

"Always Outnumbered [a.k.a. Always Outnumbered, Always Outgunned]" (1998) is a TV movie based on Walter Mosely's novel, which aired on HBO. Laurence Fishburne leads an excellent cast in this real-to-life movie about a black man's struggles after being released from prison. However, his struggles are not only his own, as Fishburn's character takes on a deeper symbolic meaning. Named after the Greek philosopher Socrates, Fishburn's character often found himself at the crossroads of right or wrong, especially at the mercy of his tough Los Angeles neighborhood. The rules of society are one thing, but surviving day-to-day in poverty is another.

Veteran actor Bill Cobbs accompany Fishburn, and these two gentlemen give an incredible performance together. Cobb's character represents the things we all can't avoid. The deterioration of our health and the inevitable outcome. Not only in the physical sense but the metaphorical sense as well. However, the emergence of Darryl (Daniel Williams) into Socate's life is a chance for redemption for himself and Darryl. 

Throughout the film, we see Socrate's relationships with the people around him, including Iula (Natalie Cole) and Mrs. and Mrs. M'Shalla (Bill Nunn and Bridgid Coulter). We also get great appearances by Isaiah Washington, Cicely Tyson, and Bill Duke. This movie is a fantastic look into life. As a person always looking for the deeper meaning of things, this movie provides me with that piece of mind. I highly recommend it for viewing. 

Director: Michael Apted
Writer: Walter Mosley (book "Always Outnumbered, Always Outgunned")

Starring Laurence Fishburne, Bill Cobbs, Daniel Williams, Natalie Cole, Bridgid Coulter, Bill Nunn, Cicely Tyson, Isaiah Washington, Bill Duke, Art Evans, John Toles-Bey, Jamaal Carter, Brooke Marie Bridges, Paula Jai Parker, Laurie Metcalf, Alan Wilder

Socrates Fortlow (Laurence Fishburne) has just finished a prison stint and settled into a new life in Los Angeles. Determined to live on the straight and narrow, Socrates looks for work but finds himself at dead ends when he cannot gain opportunities. His elderly neighbor, Right Burke (Bill Cobbs), sees that Socrates has more depth to him than appears on the outside, which is an angry and hurt man. While trying to stay straight, a young boy, Darryl (Daniel Williams), is in danger after witnessing a horrific crime. Socrates feels accountable for helping Darryl and starts mentoring him on surviving and standing up for himself.