So what she really wanted to do was direct. That explains this directorial debut from poet (and former calypso singer) Maya Angelou. Though putting a poet behind the camera seems about as good an idea as encouraging James Cameron to compose sonnets, Angelou acquits herself well here, exploring the value of rural life while touching on real issues of the inner city without falling into exploitation.
Down in the Delta also dares to plumb real emotion with a rich cast headed by the excellent Alfre Woodard as an unemployed mother seeking to save herself and her family. It's also encouraging to see Wesley Snipes once again acting in a serious role. While the film suffers from the flat visuals of a TV movie, the drama often surpasses that standard.