Hope & Redemption: The Lena Baker Story (2008) Poster

Hope & Redemption: The Lena Baker Story (2008)

  • Rate: 5.0/10 total 176 votes 
  • Genre: Crime | Drama | History
  • Runtime: 106 min
  • Filming Location: Georgia, USA
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Hope & Redemption: The Lena Baker Story (2008)

Hope Redemption The Lena Baker Story 2008tt1139662.jpg poster

  • IMDb page: Hope & Redemption: The Lena Baker Story (2008)
  • Rate: 5.0/10 total 176 votes 
  • Genre: Crime | Drama | History
  • Runtime: 106 min
  • Filming Location: Georgia, USA
  • Budget: $2,500,000(estimated)
  • Director: Ralph Wilcox
  • Stars: Tichina Arnold, Dwayne Boyd and Chris Burns
  • Original Music By: Todd Cochran   
  • Sound Mix: Dolby Digital

Writing Credits By:

    (in alphabetical order)

  • Ralph Wilcox  writer

Known Trivia

    Plot: A chronicle of the life of Lena Baker, the first woman to be sent to the electric chair in Georgia for the murder of her employer, who forced her into sexual slavery.  »

    Story: A chronicle of the life of Lena Baker, the first woman to be sent to the electric chair in Georgia for the murder of her employer, who forced her into sexual slavery.



    Based on true events, THE LENA BAKER STORY recounts one African-American womans struggle to rise above the challenges of her life, to face the choices she makes, and to ultimately triumph over her impossible circumstances.

    As a young girl in the early 1900s Lena Baker (Tichina Arnold) and her mother (Beverly Todd) make ends meet by picking cotton in the hot southern sun of rural Cuthbert, Georgia. Lena grows up to work as a prostitute during the Roaring Twenties in an attempt to make enough money to head north and start anew. She is arrested before her dream is realized and sentenced to ten months of hard labor. Returning from this grueling experience and reuniting with her mother on the dusty road near their home, it is clear that Lena is changed forever.

    Years later, it seems that Lena has finally overcome her inner demons. She has three young children, she no longer drinks, she attends church regularly and helps her mother with their weekly laundry work.

    Just when it seems Lena may be able to forget the sorrow of her past, she is called to work for Elliot Arthur (Peter Coyote), a tyrannical white man known in Cuthbert for his angry disposition and drinking. Over time, Lena and Elliot develop a highly-charged relationship, filled with alcohol, cruelty and a troubling need for one another.

    Elliots physical and mental abuse continues to escalate. He often kidnaps Lena from her home and imprisons her for weeks, keeping her from her children and mother. One particularly hot and humid night, Lena finally stands up for herself and attempts to break free from his bondage. A struggle ensues and the gun they tussle over accidentally goes off. Elliot Arthur, a white man, is shot by Lena Baker, an African-American woman. She is arrested soon after by the towns sympathetic sheriff (Michael Rooker) who is helpless in the face of social mores of the time.

    The trial is swift and a jury of 12 white men, her subpoenaed peers, find Lena guilty of murder in less than six hours. Lena soon receives the devastating news that she has been sentenced to death by electrocution. During the coming months, Lena prepares for her passing with dignity and strength. In the end, she dies confident in the knowledge that God will judge her in a way that her fellow human beings could not.

    Lena Baker was the first and only woman to be sentenced to death by the electric chair in the state of Georgia and was executed in 1945. She was pardoned posthumously in 2005.


    FullCast & Crew

    Produced By:

    • Pete Ballard known as executive producer: post production
    • Dennis Johnson known as producer
    • Barton Rice known as executive producer
    • Charles Rice known as executive producer
    • Korey Washington known as associate producer
    • Ralph Wilcox known as producer

    FullCast & Crew:

    • Tichina Arnold known as Lena Baker
    • Dwayne Boyd known as Juke Joint Man #1
    • Chris Burns known as Max Arthur
    • Kenny Cook known as Barry Arthur
    • Peter Coyote known as Elliot Arthur
    • Jasmine Farmer known as Young Netty
    • Mike Hickman known as Mr. Candance
    • Tom Huff known as Ken Thomas
    • Randy McDowell known as Lyle Jacobs
    • Paul Montgomery known as Rev. James
    • Ron Prather known as Mr. Riddle
    • Frank Roberts known as Mr. Powell
    • Michael Rooker
    • Shamar Sanders known as Royal (as Brandon Sanders)
    • Ron Clinton Smith known as Cotton Foreman
    • Susie Spear Purcell known as Mrs. Riddle (as Susie Spear)
    • Jody Thompson known as Ronnie Edwards
    • Beverly Todd
    • Dikran Tulaine known as Mr ferris
    • Bobby 'JoJo' White known as Juke Joint Man #2
    • Michaela Worthy known as Alice Lee
    • L. Warren Young known as Milton



    Supporting Department

    Makeup Department:

    • Betty Bennett known as additional hair stylist
    • Erin Keith known as additional makeup artist
    • Evelyn Roach known as key hair stylist
    • Holly Sago known as assistant makeup artist
    • Emma Sales known as assistant hair stylist
    • Jason Willis known as key makeup artist

    Art Department:

    • James Cannon known as scenic charge
    • Jamie Dorfman known as property master
    • Konrad Lewis known as leadperson
    • Javed Noorullah known as assistant property master
    • Javed Noorullah known as props
    • James Thompson known as set dresser
    • Scott D. Warner known as propmaker




    Production Companies:

    • Laughing Crow Entertainment
    • Schuster's Cash

    Other Companies:

    • Liquid Soul Media  marketing and promotion
    • Lab 601  post-production facilities
    • B.D. Fox Independent  publicity
    • Film Production Capital  tax credit brokering
    • IndieClear  script clearance


    • B.D. Fox Independent (2009) (USA) (theatrical)
    • Alpha Filmes (2009) (Brazil) (DVD)
    • Barnholtz Entertainment
    • Evolution Entertainment (2009) (Switzerland) (DVD)
    • Murena International (2009) (Russia) (all media)
    • Pan Vision (2009) (Sweden) (DVD)
    • Pan Vision (2009) (Sweden) (DVD) (Blu-ray)



    Other Stuff

    Release Date:

    • USA 10 April 2008 (Atlanta Film and Video Festival)
    • France 20 May 2008 (Cannes Film Market)
    • USA 30 August 2008 (Jokara-Micheaux Film Festival)
    • USA 6 November 2008 (American Film Market)
    • USA 28 April 2009 (DVD premiere)
    • Sweden 26 August 2009 (DVD premiere)

    MPAA: Rated PG-13 for mature thematic material involving racism, violence, alcoholism, and some sexual content



    Filmography links and data courtesy of The Internet Movie Database

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