Monday, April 18, 2011

Conviction: Inspiring story of sisterly love

ConvictionLast night we watched the film, "Conviction," which was the real-life story of Betty Anne Waters, a high school dropout who had a very troubled childhood, and her brother, Kenny, who had a serious reckless streak along with some anger management issues. When Kenny was convicted for the murder of a neighbor, Betty Anne went back to school to earn her (1) high school GED, (2) bachelor's degree, (3) master's degree in education, and (4) a law degree...for the sole purpose of working to free her brother, who she knew in her bones was innocent.

Along the way, Waters' marriage falls apart (her husband didn't want her to go back to school and wanted her to put it all behind her), her two beloved sons decide to go live with their father, and she was put on academic probation at law school for a period.

This film brought me to tears several times. Betty Anne and Kenny had truly rotten childhoods. It always breaks my heart when I see this kind of childhood in a film or book--I know this is all some children know. They had a beautiful, unconditional love for each other. She believed in his innocence when even Kenny seemed to be giving up. 

I found it refreshing that most of the major characters were women. Betty Anne had an amazing friend--a fellow law student--Abra Rice, who helped her in her quest to free Kenny. Betty Anne is an Erin Brockovitch type of hero for women--working class or otherwise--everywhere. Here's a photo of the real-life Betty Anne and Abra, along with Hilary Swank and Minnie Driver, the outstanding actors who played them. And here's a video of Abra Rice and Minnie Driver.

I won't give away the ending, because you need to see this film. And after you see it, read this New York Times article or this one in the Guardian about the real story. 

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