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An American Crime

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Cast: Catherine Keener,Ellen Page,James Franco

Director:Tommy O'Haver


Year: 2007


Based on a true story that shocked the nation in 1965, the film recounts one of the most shocking crimes ever committed against a single victim. Sylvia and Jennie Fae Likens, the two daughters of traveling carnival workers are left for an extended stay at the Indianapolis home of single mother Gertrude Baniszewski and her seven children. Times are tough, and Gertrude's financial needs cause her to make this arrangement before realizing how the burden will push her unstable nature to a breaking point. What transpires in the next three months is both riveting and horrific, leaving one child dead and the rest scarred for life.

This film kinda got lost as far as a theatrical release goes, I am guessing a lot of that has to do with it being based off a true story and a very disturbing one at that. Sad part is this movie has a fantastic cast including the very popular Ellen Page as the young girl left with her sister at what seemed like a normal single mother's house but instead this woman abused her beyond what anyone could imagine. This is a very hard film to watch and for those that get upset over this sort of thing I suggest you rent another movie. I found it hard to watch as well but there is also something that grabs you about the film and it demands your attention, you do not want to look but some how you can't help yourself. The class of the film makers here including Director, Tommy O'Haver, who also co-wrote the script has to be mentioned, as severe a subject matter this is they manage to keep the brutality down while still telling a very important story, one that needs to be told. The one thing and really makes me sad is this sort of crime still goes on today all over the world. An American Crime is the story of a mother that is overwhelmed by the fact that she has a half dozen kids to feed and little money coming in. Neither father to her kids gives any support and her drug addiction and drinking are taking their toll. Once she can see that she is losing control of her oldest daughter she begins taking it out on the new girls. This is a must see film for those that can handle watching such a film, maybe in the end it will do some good and just maybe prevent something as horrific as this from happening again. Released by First Look Studios. ***** Out Of ****