Search - Nightjohn on DVD

Actors: Beau Bridges, Lorraine Toussaint
Director: Charles Burnett
Genres: Drama, African American Cinema
PG-13     2005     1hr 36min

No Description Available No Track Information Available Media Type: DVD Artist: BRIDGES,BEAU Title: NIGHTJOHN Street Release Date: 02/28/2006

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Movie Details

Actors: Beau Bridges, Lorraine Toussaint
Director: Charles Burnett
Genres: Drama, African American Cinema
Sub-Genres: Drama, African American Cinema
Studio: Echo Bridge Home Entertainment
Format: DVD - Color,Full Screen - Closed-captioned
DVD Release Date: 06/07/2005
Original Release Date: 06/01/1996
Theatrical Release Date: 06/01/1996
Release Year: 2005
Run Time: 1hr 36min
Screens: Color,Full Screen
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 1
Members Wishing: 0
MPAA Rating: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Languages: English

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Member Movie Reviews

Reviewed on 10/4/2022...
Really well made! A must watch!
Sharon F. (Shar) from AVON PARK, FL
Reviewed on 8/18/2022...
Excellent "slave" movie with a great storyline based on the novel by Gary Paulsen. It is the triumphant story of 12-year-old Sarny, a southern slave, who faces the grim future serving at her Masters table and spitting tobacco on roses (to prevent infestation of bugs). Then she meets Nighthohn (Carl Lumbly) who is a former runaway. He teaches her secretly to read and write, which is a crime punishable by death in those days.
0 of 1 member(s) found this review helpful.
Hazel S. from CARRIERE, MS
Reviewed on 10/26/2010...
Very good! Makes you appreciate people that stood up for what they believed was right.
2 of 2 member(s) found this review helpful.

Movie Reviews

Stands on its own two feet
Timothy Hulsey | Charlottesville, VA United States | 05/08/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)

"African-American auteur Charles Burnett is best known for neorealist dramas like _A Killer of Sheep_, but his first foray into television is widely regarded as his masterpiece. The New Yorker's Terrence Rafferty proclaimed _Nightjohn_ the "best American movie of 1996." I agree.

The plot concerns Sarny, a twelve-year-old slave girl who learns to read, and uses her knowledge to expose and undermine the plantation power structure. Performances are excellent -- newcomer Allison Jones is especially good as Sarny -- and Burnett's direction is honest and forthright. Although _Nightjohn_ has a strong pro-education message, it is conveyed with plenty of suspenseful drama and a bare minimum of preachiness. Family filmmaking doesn't get better than this.

The _Nightjohn_ DVD, like the laserdisc edition before it, presents the film in its original full-frame ratio without supplements or bonuses. The transfer and sound are adequate -- and given the price, that's about as much as anyone can reasonably expect.

Note to parents: For a film that features no profanity, no sex or nudity, and only a few instances of onscreen violence, the PG-13 rating on this DVD seems excessive. _Nightjohn_ is not for young children, because it strongly suggests the horror and brutality of American slavery. But I'd recommend this film for ages 9 and up, with parental supervision. (Be prepared for a long, thoughtful discussion afterwards.)"
Freedom is Reading!
Oni Lasana | Philadelphia, PA United States | 01/01/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I love this movie, the first time I saw it was at a showing given by the Delta's, a African American female sorority at the International House in Philadelphia. It was like history coming alive before my eyes, the lesson it taught on the value of education was unforgettable.
When the lights went up, we were engaged in a dialogue led by poet, Sonia Sanchez on the impact of what we viewed and how relevant it was to all educators and students today.
I could only keep asking how to purchase the video!! A few days later I visited my video rental store and their it was on the was sold to me for $10!
I have since purchased over half a dozen [...] and given as gifts to lovers of American history. I also present workshops on slavery, Civil War and Literature in many schools, that connect to my storytelling work, featuring the works of Paul Laurence Dunbar. I often recommend this video to the teachers to show in the middle to university level before I come to the classroom or assembly.

It is realistically powerful! Excellent acting by all! Beautiful visuals and a great storyline from the cabin to the big house. I gave the last one away to a friend who is working on a Slavery Museum here in Philadelphia, so I keep ordering more!"
Why read and write?
silver queen | DE United States | 09/15/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I use the book with reluctant readers and writers (middle to high school)to get them to see that "universal, free, public education" was not always available to all and how valuable the abilities to read and write are. Then we watch the film which is an excellent adaptation of the book. Readers/viewers might also want to read Paulsen's sequel, Sarny. Both are interesting turns for Paulsen, best known for his coming of age/wilderness novels, especially Hatchet. Paulsen is one of the best contemporary writers of description...check out the opening page to his book, The Winter Room."