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Down River(Feature Film Screenplay)

Updated: Apr 14


Roxy, an enslaved black woman, who's toils to find a path leading to freedom in Pre-Civil War Missouri, will require of her a mother's ultimate sacrifice.

Our Review

Down River by Philip Marcoccio is a gripping and intense screenplay that delves deeply into the harsh realities of slavery in America through the story of Roxy, an enslaved woman whose life is marked by profound challenges and resilience. The narrative begins with Roxy’s harrowing experiences, including being raped and forced back into labor immediately after giving birth, highlighting the brutal conditions of her enslavement. Although Roxy gains her freedom early in the story, her precarious status as a freed person adds a constant undercurrent of tension, contradicting the notion of a straightforward, uplifting tale.

The screenplay vividly portrays the dire consequences of being sold “Down River”—a fate Roxy endures through a heartbreaking betrayal by her own son, believing she would be sold to benevolent owners but instead facing a crueler reality. This pivotal moment underscores the ever-present stakes in Roxy’s life, challenging her newfound freedom and testing her limits in the most severe ways.

Each character in “Down River” is crafted with a unique voice, bringing authenticity and depth to the dialogue, which stands out as a particularly compelling element of Marcoccio’s writing. This screenplay offers a powerful, emotionally charged narrative that is far from heartwarming, presenting a raw, unvarnished look at the struggles and brief triumphs of an enslaved woman fighting for dignity and survival against overwhelming odds.”


Writer: Philip Marcoccio

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