Blallywood Film Review “Abducted:The Carlina White Story”
The story of Carlina White will leave you staggered. Lifetime premiered the Carlina White story which is based on a true story. The story begins in Harlem, New York. Sixteen year old Joy White found out that she was pregnant by her twenty-two year old boyfriend Carl Tyson. The news came as a thrill to the entire family of both sides as they welcomed baby Carlina. Nineteen days after giving birth, Joy rushed her daughter to the hospital due to a high fever.
Carl received the news and rushed from his job to the hospital. A couple of hours into the hospital stay, Carl had to return to work and Joy needed to go home to change clothes and rest. A nurse who had been talking to the couple their entire time there, volunteered to keep an eye on baby Carlina while Joy went home for clothes and a quick nap.
Carl and Joy had no idea that the nurse was not an employee of the hospital. The nurse was an intruder who had been roaming the halls of the hospital scheming to abduct a baby. Carlina White just happened to fit the description. In the middle of the night, Carlina White was abducted from the hospital and was not seen until twenty-three years later.
Keke Palmer, Aunjanue Ellis, Sherri Shepard and Roger R. Cross round up the cast of the Carlina White Story. Ann, played by Aunjanue Ellis, had been pregnant three times, all resulting in a loss. During the loss of her third child, she was ashamed of returning home empty handed so she left her hometown of Bridgeport, CT and took a train to Harlem, New York.
She entered a Harlem Hospital, stole a uniform and roamed the hospital as a nurse. When Ann abducted Carlina, she left the hospital that night to return to Bridgeport. It tool Ann three weeks to return home with baby Carlina, who was then named Nejdra “Netty” Nance.
Joy and Carl never stopped looking for their child. When news of the kidnapping first took place, police were all over the scene. Reporters continued to air stories of Carl and Joy pleading for the return of their daughter. Soon after the continuous press coverage, the story came to a halt but Carl and Joy continued to press on. They sued the Harlem Hospital for negligence and were awarded a $750,000 settlement.
Ann went on to raise Carlina as her own child, never telling a soul the truth. During her teen years, Carlina became suspicious that Ann was not her birth mother. Carlina had given birth to a baby girl and wondered why neither of them resembled anyone in her family. Also, Carlina found out her birth certificate was a forged document and no record of the birth of “Nejdra Nance” was on file.
Carlina decided to confront her mother about the forged documents. Ann then told her that she was left on her doorsteps by her real mother who was addicted to drugs.
Carlina, “Nejdra”, solves her own case and finds out that she is the missing baby on the back of a milk carton. As time passes and arrest are made, Nejdra is reunited with her biological family. The only life she ever knew was that of Nejdra Nance and so being Carlina White seemed unrealistic to her. Her connection with her biological family became distant as she tried to figure out a way to please both families.
Aunjanue Ellis is superb as Ann. She brings the drama and the crazy. Her performance, gritty at times, makes you wonder if she knew the family personally. Keke Palmer knocks it out of the park as Carlina White. This may be KeKe’s best performance to date. KeKe, who is only 19 years old, portrays a twenty-three year old mother in the movie. I must say that she did it well. All hail Sherri Shepherd. Who knew that Sherri could bring the pain?
There is a scene towards the end of the movie with Sherri and Aunjanue that will leave you breathless. The acting that takes place is superb. The gritty scene takes place in jail as Joy decides to visit Ann and confront her for taking twenty-three years of her life away.
Sherri and Aunjanue bring it in this scene. If you’re like me, you get so hyped that you want to throw something at the screen for such a great performance. This movie is a great watch and you can check Lifetime’s local listing for the re-airing of Abducted: The Carlina White Story. I give this film a slice of Mom’s sweet potato pie because it’s SO DAMN GOOD.