Jasper, Texas

2003

Drama

0
IMDb Rating 6.5 10 639

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Plot summary


Uploaded by: FREEMAN
December 10, 2022 at 06:42 PM

Top cast

Jon Voight as Billy Rowles
Bokeem Woodbine as Khalid X
Louis Gossett Jr. as R.C. Horn
Joe Morton as Walter Diggles
720p.WEB
1.03 GB
1280*722
English 2.0
R
23.976 fps
1 hr 54 min
P/S ...

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by =G= 6 / 10

A well told but thin story

"Jasper, Texas" recounts the events surrounding the horrible killing-by-dragging of a black man by three white men near the title town which shocked America in 1998. This Showtime product exercises restraint in exploiting and sensationalizing the tragic crime while focusing on a small town trying to cope with finding itself at the center of national attention as media, FBI, Black Panthers, and the KKK converge on it. Voight and Gossett turn in solid performances as the town's Sheriff and Mayor respectively in this thin story with little extraordinary drama beyond the headlines. Somewhat weak as a stand-alone feature, "Jasper, Texas" will play best for those with a particular interest in the infamous Jasper story. (B-)

Reviewed by lastliberal 6 / 10

Racism on two sides of Texas

Texas is a big, big state. There is plenty of room for racism to exist in any places at once. In 1998, there were two big incidents that made national headlines.

Near the Louisiana border, in Jasper, Texas. James Byrd was being drug to his death by three white men out for a good time. 600 miles away, near the New Mexico border, in Tulia, Texas, the sheriff hired Tome Coleman to combat his town's perceived drug problem. As the trials went on in Jasper, a pre-dawn raid rounded up 46 black men in Tulia and they were sentenced to 750 years in prison on trumped-up charges.

We will have to wait until Halle Berry has her baby to see the completion of Tulia, but we can watch the crimes in Jasper, now.

Louis Gossett Jr. plays the Mayor of Jasper, and Jon Voight is the Sheriff. They have to deal with the impact of the crime and the trial on a town of 8,000. They are not only ill prepared to investigate such a heinous murder, but they have to deal with the Black Panthers, who arrive to march armed (legal in Texas), and the KKK. I cannot think of two actors who were better suited for the parts, and could have played them better.

The overall message of the film is that these three men were not representative of the town - that blacks and whites got along. The truth was laid bare during the trial. They got along because the black citizens did not make waves. There was an undercurrent of racism throughout the community and it took an incident like this to get the town to look at it.

It is a shame that it took a death to make things better, but James Byrd did have what is hopefully a lasting legacy on the town.

Reviewed by Lechuguilla 4 / 10

Sociology 101

In 1998 three young White men killed James Byrd, Jr., a Black man, by chaining Byrd to the back of their pickup truck, and then driving away at high speed down a back road in rural deep East Texas. It was a horrible crime, one that was quickly and easily solved. This film tells the story of that real-life event ... sort of.

The best part of "Jasper, Texas" is the performance of Jon Voight, as sheriff Billy Rowles, who investigated the crime. The film also presents a credibly downbeat atmosphere of rural eastern Texas.

That said, I was disappointed with the screenplay. The story begins on the day after the killing and, except for occasional flashbacks, moves forward, to chronicle the aftermath of the event, from the viewpoint of the town's residents. What was a terrible personal tragedy is turned into a speech-athon on race relations from: local politicians, the FBI, a citizen's task force, the Black Panthers, a White supremacy group, and others. The film's cast is way too large, and the dialogue is inflated. And throughout this talky film, there's the usual obnoxious behavior of the vulturous news media.

We never really get to know James Byrd, Jr., ... the victim. He is almost irrelevant. Nor do we get any insight into the motivations of the three killers. The film thus mostly ignores the most relevant people, and chooses instead to tell the story of background people who talk endlessly around a sociology topic that has been talked to death. The entire film seemed academic, impersonal, and emotionally uninvolved.

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