Freedomland is the kind of complex, multifacetted story that would always prove difficult to convert from text to celluloid. While Richard Price's novel brilliantly captures the simmering racial frustrations, this, the movie version, goes in for sentimentality surrounding the disappearance of a child as the focal point. Where the novel really built the tension between black and white with the empiricist (Price's own word) whites believing their own and the black community being forced to defend, little of this is projected in the film. Whereas the book explored the dark side of human nature to jump at an opportunity to highlight a cause, the film barely skims the notion, and where in the book we're thrown into the middle of the fear and excitement of a massive race riot, the film relies on only a handful of extras to attempt to recreate streets of rage and fire. A movie about the consensus of a community needs to show the strength of such with numbers, and this film simply lacks in that department.
If you're a Richard Price fan you'll be disappointed by the film, but it was almost worth watching the DVD for the interview with Richard.
All in all, a highly forgettable film, there's little wonder it went straight to DVD and is extremely obscure. Too bad, the book is fantastic.