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City of Hope (1991)

City of Hope (1991)Writer/Director

Written and Directed by John Sayles

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City of Hope is a piercing look at the web of corruption and compromise within a decaying East Coast city. Weaving the trajectories of a dozen characters through a story filled with humor, irony and violence, Sayles addresses the most volatile issues of urban American life. Leading the ensemble cast is Joe Morton as Wynn, an honest city councilman faced with a racial controversy that could destroy the city, learning the personal price of political accommodation. Vincent Spano co-stars Nick, the rebellious son of a corrupt contractor, whose attempt to escape his father’s cynical world of payoffs and fixes leads only to betrayal and death. “City of Hope has the sweeping power and scope of such American epics as the ‘Godfather’ movies.” (New York Daily News). Sayles often observes that with the characters played by Morton and Angela Bassett he ‘invented the Obamas’ long before they appeared on the public scene.

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