Sins of the Father


Sins of the Father Review

The KKK bombing of a church in 1963 Birmingham, Alabama has become the stuff of legal legend -- given it took years or decades to catch and convict all the perpetrators. Spike Lee made a documentary about it called 4 Little Girls, memorializing the four children killed in the blast. I feel like I've seen half a dozen films on the subject, and Sins of the Father (adapted from an article in Texas Monthly and made for the FX cable network) adds another to the pile.

The story is familiar -- old man (Richard Jenkins) finds his racist past dredged up after years have passed, ending with a guilty verdict at last. (If it sounds familiar, James Woods played virtually the same guy in Ghosts of Mississippi , about the assassination of Medgar Evers.) Will he do the honorable thing and face his violent, racist past? Well, the flashbacks alone are enough to make you wish he would get on with the healing already.

The film is built very seriously and morosely and its messages are buried under the weight of a series of iffy side stories and subplots. The old coot's guilt is obvious (you know, why else would there be a movie?), but I guess we're supposed to wonder about the truth. Unfortunately, the supporting actors (aside from the three leads) are all rough as well, making it difficult to feel much sympathy... for any of the characters.

Sins of the Father

Facts and Figures

Run time: 44 mins

In Theaters: Saturday 17th March 1990

Reviews 2.5 / 5

IMDB: 8.2 / 10

Cast & Crew



Starring: Joe Lauria as Young Ethan Fernier, as Old Ethan Fernier, Sandy Oppedisano as Megan Woodrow, Isabelle Stephen as Isabelle, Richard Redmond as Peter Jacobs, Sal Sirchia as Sal, Mark Yonick as Nathan Graves, Herb Smithline as Dr. Fisher