Down in the Delta


Down in the Delta

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Reviews Counted: 23

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Average Rating: 3.7/5

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Movie Info

Poet Maya Angelou made her feature directorial debut with this African-American family drama, shown theatrically but originally produced for the Showtime cable network. Unemployed single mother Loretta (Alfre Woodward) lives with her mother, Rosa Lynn (Mary Alice), in a Chicago apartment. Drugs and alcohol lead Loretta to neglect her autistic daughter, Tracy (Kulani Hassen). Her teen son Thomas (Mpho Koaho) brings in money by photographing tourists. Rosa Lynn pawns a family heirloom in order to send Loretta and the kids off to their Mississippi Delta hometown where Loretta's Uncle Earl (Al Freeman Jr.) runs his diner. Earl lives in a dry county, so Loretta is reluctant. However, she has no choice after Rosa Lynn threatens to contact child-welfare authorities if she doesn't go. Earl takes in the trio even though he already has enough problems with Annie (Esther Rolle), an Alzheimer's victim under the supervision of caregiver Zenia (Loretta Devine). Toronto locations substitute for Mississippi. Shown at the 1998 Toronto Film Festival.

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Alfre Woodard
as Loretta Sinclair
Al Freeman Jr.
as Earl Sinclair
Mary Alice
as Rosa Lynn Sinclair
Esther Rolle
as Annie Sinclair
Wesley Snipes
as Will Sinclair
Mpho Koaho
as Thomas Sinclair
Kulani Hassen
as Tracy Sinclair
Anne-Marie Johnson
as Monica Sinclair
Justin Lord
as Dr. Rainey
Sandra Caldwell
as Volunteer
Colleen Williams
as Tourist Woman
Richard Blackburn
as Tourist Man
Philip Akin
as Manager
Mary Fallick
as Drug Addict
Sandi Ross
as Pawnbroker
Marium Carvell
as Prim Sister
Kim Roberts
as Isabelle
DeFoy Glenn
as Reverend Floyd
Jeff Jones
as Man in Congregation
Michelyn Emelle
as Dozing Woman
Johnie Chase
as Grinning Man
Andrea Lewis
as Cassandra
Bernard Browne
as Diner No. 1
Alison Sealy-Smith
as Diner No. 2
Eugene Clark
as Citizen No. 1
Chris Benson
as Citizen No. 2
Carol Anderson
as Jesse's Wife
Neville Edwards
as Slave Man
Yanna McIntosh
as Slave Woman
Joel Gordon
as Jesse (in 1865, age 17)
Phil Jarrett
as Jesse (in 1890, age 42)
Clinton Green
as Soloist in Church
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Critic Reviews for Down in the Delta

All Critics (23) | Top Critics (7)

Maya Angelou's stunning feature directorial debut.

Feb 5, 2007 | Full Review…

Not particularly groundbreaking, and neither is its message, but it's all done with sensitivity and intelligence by Angelou.

Jan 2, 2007 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

I was not thrilled about having to see it. But, sitting there in the dark, I became tremendously moved by the movie, and I have not forgotten its power.

May 26, 2006 | Full Review…

Employs too many redundant, stagy flashbacks to tell the story of Loretta's ancestors.

Jul 1, 2004 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…

A powerful performance from Alfre Woodard captured by Angelou's quiet, poetic direction.

Jul 10, 2003 | Rating: 4/5

Shows that every family has a potential for resiliency and growth, no matter what the problems.

Mar 3, 2002 | Full Review…

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