Deep in My Heart (1999 film)

Deep in My Heart is a 1999 American made-for-television drama film based on a true story, starring Anne Bancroft and Lynn Whitfield and directed by Anita W. Addison. Bancroft received a primetime Emmy for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or a Movie for her role.

Deep in My Heart
Written byRonni Kern
Directed byAnita W. Addison
StarringAnne Bancroft
Lynn Whitfield
Alice Krige
Cara Buono
Gloria Reuben
Jesse L. Martin
Kevin O'Rourke
Music byDebbie Wiseman
Country of originUnited States
Original language(s)English
Executive producer(s)Frank Konigsberg
Producer(s)Christine Sacani
David Yarnell
CinematographyAlar Kivilo
Editor(s)Charles Bornstein
Running time90 minutes
Production company(s)The Königsberg Company
Original networkCBS
Original releaseFebruary 14, 1999 (1999-02-14)


In Boston in the early 1960s, Geraldine Cummins was walking home alone from the movies when she was jumped and raped by a black man. Stunned, she returned home to her husband Bob, stating she had been raped. Sometime later, she finds she is pregnant. She keeps the baby for a few reasons: she is Catholic and she harbors a small hope that it could be her husband's baby. As the baby is black girl, she fears the social isolation she would receive and what people would think of her. She is heartbroken, but decides to give up her daughter. She names her newborn daughter Barbara Anne Cummins and gives her to foster mother Corrine Burrel, a black woman in Roxbury.

Seven years later, Barbara is a happy little girl. A few months later, a social worker comes into their home and informs Corrine that Barbara will be adopted by Annalise and Paul, white people living in Wisconsin. Corrine seeks legal action, looking to adopt Barbara for herself, but as she is divorced with no job and many children, she is turned down.

Annalise becomes worried about Barbara's very detached nature and suggests to Paul they move to a suburban neighborhood where Barbara could be around other black kids. Paul is angry that they have to change everything for a child he did not want, but agrees, only to leave them after moving. Barbara has once again receded into herself after the neighborhood children make fun of her for being black with a white mother. Over the years until she is 16, she is alone without her mother or friends. At 16 she meets Don, a football playing choirboy. She falls in love with him and ultimately gets pregnant.

Years later, in the middle of Barbara's third pregnancy, the doctor suggests she look into her birth family history for medical reasons. This leads her in search for her mother. She visits Corrine and later contacts the agency in charge of her adoption. By reading her adoption records, she comes to know the truth about her birth and her biological mother. After a night of contemplation, she decides to seek out her birth mother.

Revitalized by the happiness of knowing she was wanted by both her birth mother and foster mother, Barbara reconciles with Annalise. Anxiously, Gerry and her 3 grown children wait at the airport for Barbara's arrival. Finally, after 34 years, mother and daughter meet. Barbara is angry as to why Gerry gave her up if she loves her, asking if it would have made a difference if she had been born white. Gerry says she only wanted the best for Barbara, to be with people who could teach her courage, which she could not, because Gerry felt ashamed for being raped and having a black daughter, though she loved her. Gerry apologizes to Barbara and the two reconcile as mother and daughter. Later, at a family reunion, Corrine, Gerry and Annalise meet again for the first time. The film ends with a picture of the entire side of Barbara's family, her mothers, her uncles, her brothers and sisters, her children, and her nieces and nephews, and Barbara no longer feels alone.


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