American Directions


  • Description
  • With a ripped-from-the-headlines backdrop highlighting the fallibility of death penalty convictions, writer-director Paul Fitzgerald uses a small canvas to paint a much larger picture. Stellar work from his cast and moving music selections help ground this powerful drama.

    As his campaign for the US Senate gears up, conservative former prosecutor Peter Miles learns an African American inmate he put on death row has been exonerated and released from prison. The falsely accused man, Ronald Bradler, struggles to reintegrate into society and put the psychological damage of his imprisonment behind him. When this proves increasingly difficult, his resentment towards Miles boils over, leading to a shocking confrontation. As a result, new insights are gained and each man can begin moving forward in life.

    Fitzgerald's work is masterful in his directorial debut. His fearless technique-using long, dialogue-free moments, and relying on minimal ambient sound and the strength of his cast to hold our interest-creates powerful images that resonate long after the film ends.

©2019 American Film Institute. All rights reserved.