TV One announces original film, ‘Behind the Movement’

October 17, 2017 GMT

Production is underway in Atlanta for “Behind the Movement,” a new original film starring Meta Golding (“The Hunger Games”), Isaiah Washington (“The 100”), Loretta Devine (“Waiting to Exhale”) and Roger Guenveur Smith (“American Gangster”), TV One recently announced. The film is slated to premiere in time for Black History Month in February 2018.

According to the network, “Behind the Movement,” written by Katrina M. O’Gilvie and directed by Aric Avelino, is a unique, fast-paced retelling of how Rosa Parks’ refusal to give up her seat launched the history-making Montgomery Bus Boycott. The film will reveal the untold story of how a group of everyday people decided this incident was the right time to take a stand for their civil rights and demand equal treatment.

Golding stars as Rosa Parks, and Smith, who is currently appearing in the feature film “Marshall,” plays Rosa’s husband, Raymond Parks. Devine, an Emmy Award winner, portrays Jo Ann Robinson, perhaps the person most instrumental in planning and publicizing the Montgomery Bus Boycott, proposing the idea more than a year before it was implemented.

Washington, formerly of “Grey’s Anatomy,” plays E.D. Nixon, a Pullman porter and civil rights leader who worked with Parks and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. to initiate the boycott, while Shaun Clay appears in the role of King.

It’s Alabama in 1955, and Rosa’s day as a seamstress at the Montgomery Fair Department Store starts as any other, but her journey home is interrupted when the evening bus driver tells the Black passengers in the first row of the “Negro Section” to make room for white passengers who were without seats. Though this was common practice, that evening Parks decides not to comply. Knowing her rights and being fed up with the treatment of Black citizens, she accepts the consequences of refusing to obey and is arrested.

That night, E.D. Nixon, president of the local NAACP chapter, of which Rosa is the secretary, calls his friend, Clifford Durr, a local white attorney. Once she is safely at home, Nixon tells Parks that she is the perfect “test case” for a Bus Boycott, an idea that had been in discussion since the bus segregation rules were continuously abused and more and more Blacks were being removed or threatened if they didn’t give up their seats to white riders.

Afraid for her safety, Parks’ mother and husband try to talk her out of leading the boycott, but Rosa tells them that taking this stance is too important. By midnight, plans are put in motion to launch a boycott that ultimately would last more than a year and give rise to what is known today as the Civil Rights Movement.