An uplifting tale of a black man (Phifer) in the 1940s South who is wrongly accused of killing a white man. His attorneys only defense is that he is an animal, a hog, and, therefore, is unaccountable for his actions. Predictably, he is convicted of the crime. Distraught in a prison cell, his family convinces the local school teacher (Cheadle) to visit him and restore his deflated dignity. Based on the novel by Ernest J. Gaines.