Civil rights activist Ann Atwater faces off against C.P. Ellis, Exalted Cyclops of the Ku Klux Klan, in 1971 Durham, North Carolina over the issue of school integration.
STXfilms has set an April 5 release for civil rights drama “The Best of Enemies,” starring Taraji P. Henson and Sam Rockwell.
Henson portrays Ann Atwater, a civil rights activist in Durham, N.C., who battled KKK leader C.P. Ellis (Rockwell) for a decade until 1971, when the two agreed to co-chair a two-week community meeting to deal with a court-ordered school desegregation decree. That event changed both of their lives. Babou Ceesay portrays Bill Riddick, who reluctantly persuaded Ellis and Atwater to head the community summit to try and reach a compromise. The cast also includes Anne Heche, Wes Bentley, Bruce McGill, John Gallagher Jr., and Nick Searcy.
Robin Bissell, an executive producer on “The Hunger Games” and “Seabiscuit,” is making his directorial debut from his own script, inspired by Osha Gray Davidson’s book “The Best of Enemies: Race and Redemption in the New South.” Producers include Danny Strong, Fred Bernstein, Matt Berenson, Bissell, Dominique Telson, and Material Pictures’ Tobey Maguire and Matthew Plouffe. Rick Jackson and Jeremiah Samuels are executive producers.
Rockwell won an Oscar in 2018 for best supporting actor for “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.” Henson, who stars in “Empire,” was previously nominated for an Academy Award for “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.”