The Piano Lesson

Drama | English | 95 minutes

Info

Boy Willie and his friend Lymon travel from Mississippi to Pittsburgh with the hope that Boy Willie’s sister Berniece would give him the family’s heirloom piano. Boy Willie wants to sell the piano so he can buy land from Mr. Sutter, a descendent of the family who owned slaves. Berniece and Boy Willie’s grandfather had carved the family’s American slave history into the piano’s surface.  But family friction ensues as Berniece refuses to sell the piano. She is adamant: selling the piano would be like turning her back on their people and their past.

Cast
Charles S. Dutton (Boy Willie) / Alfre Woodard (Berniece Charles) / Courtney B. Vance (Lymon) / Tim Hartman (Sutter)
Why Stream This Film?
In winning the Pulitzer Prize, it was noted that August Wilson has been long known for “profound, deeply moving portraits of African Americans in the United States.” The Pulitzer Committee called the  Piano Lesson a “fable of magic realism.”
Accolades
  • Primetime Emmy Awards: Nominated, Best Television Movie; Outstanding Lead Actor (Charles S. Dutton); Outstanding Director, Dramatic Special (Lloyd Richards)
  • Screen Actors Guild Awards: Winner, Outstanding Performance in a Miniseries or Television Movie (Alfre Woodard)
  • Pulitzer Prize: Winner, Best Drama

Now streaming on:

“Filled with inordinate drama and rich, dimensional characters, THE PIANO LESSON blares across the airwaves, filling up your deepest, hungry cinematic aesthetic.” 

DVD Verdict

“There is an element of magical realism that comes across in THE PIANO LESSON.” 
Jamie Gillies

Apollo Guide

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