The fourth of six performing siblings, Jurnee Smollett was just what writer-director Kasi Lemmons had envisioned for the lead in her film: "a light-skinned black child . . . who could convey the nuances of a Creole child in the 60s". The young thespian pulled ahead of her brothers and sisters with her bracing portrayal of a ten-year-old who finds h...
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