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Film / Liberty Heights

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A 1999 American Dramedy written and directed by Barry Levinson set in the 1950s of a Jewish family living in a Suburban neighborhood in Baltimore. One of the sons, Ben (Ben Foster), meets a young black girl, Sylvia (Rebekah Johnson) as schools desegregate as a theme of race relations at the time as the two form a friendship.

The movie also stars Adrien Brody, Bebe Neuwirth, Joe Mantegna, and David Krumholtz.

It was released on November 17, 1999.


Tropes for the film:

  • Brutal Honesty: Played for Laughs; when Van is called on to testify at a trial involving a car accident, and is being sworn in as a witness, to the question, "Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God?", he answers, "No." (this is done to help the defendant). Needless to say, the trial ends in a mistrial.
  • Civil Rights Movement: Set during integration.
  • The '50s: Set in 1954.
  • Period Piece: Set during the Civil Rights Movement.
  • Serious Business: When Sylvia's father drives Ben home, Ben won't step out of the car until the Frank Sinatra song finishes playing on the radio, because, as he says, "You don't walk out on Frank, sir. It would be too disrespectful."
  • Spiritual Successor: To Diner, Tin Men, and Avalon, Levinson's previous Baltimore films.