| 8.8/10 |
21 October 2016
by Denise Lewis Patrick|
Freedom Road Productions
NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Writing in a Television Movie
Frances Fisher, Frankie Faison, Idara Victor
American Girl, Molly: An American Girl on th, An American Girl: Isab, An American Girl: Grac, Felicity: An American Girl Adve
An American Girl Story - Melody 1963: Love Has to Win is a 2016 family-drama film starring Marsai Martin in the title role, alongside Frances Fisher, Idara Victor and Frankie Faison in supporting roles. Set in Detroit, Michigan during the 1960s Civil Rights Movement, the film revolves around African-American girl Melody Ellison, as she faces adversity and discrimination in her hometown and learns to overcome it through her creativity and imagination.
The film is the first in the American Girl film series to be released exclusively on an online streaming service, and is Amazon Studios' first original special. Love Has to Win is also the first Historical/BeForever feature since the 2008 theatrical release Kit Kittredge: An American Girl. Common served as the executive producer in the film.
An American Girl Story - Melody 1963: Love Has to Win Wikipedia
Set in 1963, the film revolves around Melody Ellison, an African-American girl living in Detroit, Michigan with her mother Frances and her grandfather Frank. Early on she and her family faced racial inequality in their hometown, whether being bullied at school with a white student named Donald along with his friends for her ethnicity, or be wrongfully accused of shoplifting at a clothing store where Melody's mother works.
A turning point for Melody was when a fellow student expressed her intention of moving to another school out of fear for being discriminated, and when news about the 16th Street Baptist Church bombing was aired on television, making her question the Pledge of Allegiance and consider moving to a school at her neighborhood. Fearing that a similar bombing would happen at the chapel where Melody's family attend mass in, Melody tries to convince her mother not to perform at a fundraising concert for the Birmingham victims; Frances reassures her, and sees hope in her daughter. Melody puts her creative skill at clothing design to good use, upcycling an old garment into a shawl for her mother to wear at her piano performance.
At church she meets her teacher Miss Abbot, who brought the other students along as part of a field trip. Donald walks out as he refuses to take Melody along; Melody's best friend Tricia volunteers to accompany her instead. The concert takes place as planned, and Melody and the rest of the churchgoers then perform Lift Every Voice and Sing. The film ends with Melody and her mother being given an applause for their performance. A short tribute to the four young victims of the Birmingham bombing appears in a post-credits sequence.
StarringMarsai Martin as Melody Ellison
Idara Victor as Frances Ellison
Frances Fisher as Miss Abbot
Frankie Faison as Frank Ellison
The direct-to-video film was released to Amazon Prime subscribers on October 21, 2016.