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Rosewood

Rosewood theatrical poster
Directed by John Singleton
Produced by Jon Peters
Written by Gregory Poirier
Starring Jon Voight
Ving Rhames
Don Cheadle
Bruce McGill
Loren Dean
Esther Rolle
and Michael Rooker
Music by John Williams
Cinematography Johnny E. Jensen
Editing by Bruce Cannon
Studio Peters Entertainment
New Deal Productions
Distributed by Warner Bros.
Release date(s) February 21, 1997
Running time 140 mins.
Language English
Budget $31,000,000

Rosewood is a 1997 film, directed by John Singleton. The film stars Ving Rhames as a fictional character who travels to the town of Rosewood, Florida, United States, and becomes a witness to the 1923 Rosewood massacre. The supporting cast includes Don Cheadle as Sylvester, a non-fictional character who also became witness to the atrocities, and Jon Voight, as a white store owner who inhabits a village near Rosewood. The three characters become entangled in a desperate attempt to save whomever they can from the rage of the racist whites of Rosewood.

Due to its scenes of gore, violence, a sexual episode, and a profusive usage of racial slurs and curses, the film was given an MPAA rating of R. The film did better with critics [1] than any John Singleton film since Boyz N the Hood. Despite that, the film was not a commercial success and was unable to earn the $30 million budget back.

There was, and remains, considerable debate as to how closely the film follows the actual historical account of the destruction of Rosewood and surrounding events, which is not surprising, given the debates surrounding the details of the actual massacre. In one scene, Ving Rhames fights off a white mob with pistols — this never happened. The siege of the Carrier house did happen. Esther Rolle plays a murder victim of a white mob. This was her third to last acting role before she died.

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