Tonight at 9, you can watch the movie on WNET/13, currently being shown in collaboration with public television’s American Playhouse. The majority of the $1.3 million expense was funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the scope of the project was reduced to a two-hour film. Robert Geller, the committed producer of the project, quickly encountered difficulties in raising funds. This occurred in approximately 1977 when the concept for a TV adaptation of James Baldwin’s debut novel, “Go Tell It on the Mountain,” emerged as a potential limited series.

There is a serious concern for the cause. On the mountain, there was still resistance to go and tell whatever benighted for it. “Roots” is a powerful novel about the American black experience that has proven to be of great interest to American television viewers, as shown by the enormous success of such projects as Jane Miss Pittman’s autobiography. It is disheartening to see that the struggle for sensitivity and unusual production quality is required in American television’s interest experience. It is disheartening to say the least that multimillion-dollar budgets are allocated for mediocre films.

Seen through the eyes of a young boy living in Harlem in the 1930s, Mr. Baldwin’s partially autobiographical story features Gabriel, his father, who explodes in black church experiences with hypnotic hymns and sermons. Already recognized by his white teachers at school for his writing talent, John, approaching his 14th birthday and often overshadowed by his rebellious younger brother Roy, is a dark and slight individual with a slight tendency to observe everything and speak very little. Unlike Roy, who is already rebelling against their father and getting into trouble on the streets, John is a quiet outsider seeking ways to navigate both his father’s world and the challenging world beyond Harlem, where recognition is even harder to come by.

A man who has survived poverty and racism, Gabriel slowly becomes a sympathetic but flawed figure. He is haunted by his own scars and weaknesses, yet he manages to overcome them and grow out of his past sins. As his life unfolds, we see Gabriel as a young hell-raiser in rural South, eventually finding religion and becoming a respected preacher with a growing reputation. Flashbacks into his past reveal the tragic ending of his own growing pains. The film begins to slide into these flashbacks, allowing us to learn that the illegitimate boy, John, is actually the son of Gabriel’s wife, Elizabeth (played by Olivia Cole). Gabriel finds it particularly challenging to accept John, especially considering his strict and forbidding father, who keeps them busy with household chores and does not allow them to go to movies or play in the streets without studying or taking Bible lessons.