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August 23, 2014, 7:24 am

‘Joy Road’ takes trip down a path of injustice

In the aftermath of the tragic execution of Troy Davis comes “Joy Road,” a gripping independent film focusing on the inequities of the criminal justice system in America. Written and directed by Harry Davis, “Joy Road” opens in Philadelphia on Friday, October 21, showing exclusively at the Riverview Plaza Stadium 17, located at 1400 S. Columbus Boulevard.

Wood Harris, star of the critically-acclaimed TV drama, “The Wire,” plays Tony Smalls, a defense attorney who has escaped the ghetto to become part of Detroit’s emerging middle class. However, when his sister, Nia’s (Ne’Bushe Wright), thug boyfriend, Big Boy (Christian “Trick-Trick”) Mathis, is arrested for triple murder, Tony is drawn back into the world that he fought so hard to leave behind.

In the middle of the night, Tony and his wife get a rude awakening when the police break into his home — rifles drawn, put the two of them in handcuffs and demand to know if there are any drugs in the house. While his stunned wife protests loudly, Tony does not answer, causing the cops to ransack their bedroom in search of the dope. Finding none, the officer in charge of the raid orders his minions to remove the cuffs, literally throws a search warrant at Tony. “Here’s your warrant,” he sneers, and stomps out of the house, leaving Tony enraged and his wife confused.

Pressured into taking Big Boy’s case, Tony returns to the streets and finds that nothing has changed, especially Flip (Jamie Hector) his old neighborhood nemesis, raising the question of what happens when young urban professionals abandon the neighborhoods of their birth. In the course of his investigation, Tony uncovers a conspiracy that could cost him his life. “‘Joy Road’s’ theme of the price that must be paid when a family is divided — is universal,” Wood Harris stated.

“‘Joy Road’ is one of the most important films of these times with many layered messages vital to the future of African Americans,” said director Harris Davis.

Executive produced by former NBA stars Charles Oakley and Antoine Walker, “Joy Road” also features esteemed veterans Roger Guenveur Smith and Obba Babatunde. (Rated “R”) 

 

Contact entertainment reporter Kimberly C. Roberts at (215) 893-5753 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .