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Review – The Lena Baker Story


I picked up this film, Hope & Redemption: The Lena Baker Story, a few weeks ago. This is the true story of Lena Baker, the first and only woman sentenced to death by the electric chair in Georgia.  Lena is forced into a sexual and alcohol fueled relationship after being hired to take care of an old white man who’s a drunkard. The old man’s son disapproves of the relationship, the town disapproves of the relationship, and Lena initially looks at what she can gain from the situation.  In time, Lena tries to resist the situation but she is held by the threat of harm to herself  or her family.  Lena was pardoned for her crime a few years ago, decades after her death.

While I’m happy to see Tichina Arnold in a different role, and understand the film and what they were trying to show, it wasn’t a very moving film. I think they dropped the ball when it came to scripting and shooting this film, and chose to follow the typical made for TV format.

It is, however, nice that they have made this into a film so the story can reach more people. I can’t say I recommend it, but I would suggest researching the subject if you want to know more.

6 comments to Review – The Lena Baker Story

  • I agree about it being good to see Tichina Arnold in this time of dramatic role but I don’t think I can watch this–it’s way too much.

  • Sergio

    I comletely forgot about this film. I recall seeing the trailer like two years ago and back then I wasn’t that excited to see it. Yet another “Oh-woe-is-me-Life-is-So-hard-Lawd” black film

  • mlm

    no it’s not a woe is me film. it is more religious based like God will forgive me. if that’s any better. It was just poorly done like when you see 5 different people play Martin Luther King Jr. in yet another Rosa Parks centralized TV movie. I like Tichina but I think she needs more opps. to do different roles like this one to improve her range. She’s been stuck in Lisa Raye roles. It is a bit much Noelani. I almost just turned it off.

  • When I look at the trailer of the Lena Baker Story and today we have a Black man as President and then I look at these ridiculous comments it bewilders me. When seemingly intelligent people write replies such as: “Yet another “Oh-woe-is-me-Life-is-So-hard-Lawd” black film” or “it is more religious based like God will forgive me. if that’s any better” and the most ignorant, “I can’t say I recommend it, but I would suggest researching the subject if you want to know more. Pushing aside these obvious film scholar comments for a moment. Hope and Redemption: The Lena Baker Story is HIGHLY recommended to see from an actual filmmakers point of view. When a movie can be made of Monica Lewinsky because she was a tramp that gave oral sex to a sitting president (which was a setup) and you complain about a movie that deals with Lena Baker a Black woman with her own struggles and was put to death but yet pardoned sixty (60) years after being put to executed. Those seem to be the same minds that will probably applaud that junk Atlanta House wives or worst following Kim Kardashian around town NOW there’s a talent for you.

  • mlm

    Seriously? If you like it you like it. The rest of us don’t have to like it. The point is I think the movie sucked. No one is sitting here complaining except for you.

  • More an obvious observation than a complaint but thanks for your comment (filed in it’s usual manner)