"Deep in My Heart" is a very hard movie to review, not because it is based on a true story or that it covers periods of racial tension but because it is purely a retelling of someone's life. Now that life belongs to Barbara Ann but it starts in 1961, 9 months before she was born when her biological mother Gerry Cummins is raped by a black man. What happens in between is Barbara's journey through life and her mother's journey through life, and I say mothers because this is the story of her biological mother, a foster mother and an adoptive mother.
I have no plans to go into detail about what actually happens in "Deep in My Heart" because it is a very simple movie and to tell you what happens in depth would spoil some of the enjoyment which arises from watching it. And I do mean enjoyment because whilst the movie takes us on a journey which features heartache and also recounts issues concerning race during the 1960s it is also a touching story. Touching because when Barbara Ann becomes a mother herself she sets about tracking down her birth mother and learning about her past, allowing her to bring closure to some long held emotional pain in the process.
The thing about "Deep in My Heart" is that it is very much a story of Barbara's life and whilst that life takes us through various eras and the troubles it isn't a movie which makes any big statements. Maybe that was the intention, just to deliver this touching story and then let the way it ends make a statement about racism and the changing times. If that was the case it succeeds with very good performances from Anne Bancroft, Gloria Reuben, Lynn Whitfield and Alice Krige with Cara Buono also doing a very good job of delivering the emotion as young Gerry when it comes to dealing with being pregnant from rape and giving up the child.
But "Deep in My Heart" whilst a touching movie isn't perfect and during the second half it certainly manipulates the audience's emotions. It doesn't need to do it in the way it does with overly emotional music and indulgent soft lightening because the story is powerful and touching enough.
What this all boils down to is "Deep in My Heart" is the touching story of Barbara Ann Williams and her three mothers. Like many made for TV movies it does manipulate your emotions but the natural power of the story and some very good performances makes it worth a watch.