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Thread: End of Year MOVIE JOURNAL

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  1. #16
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    SF Bay Area

    HARRIET (Kasi Lemmons 2019). A handsome, straightforward telling of the story of Harriet Tubman, Abolitionist leader, escaped slave and leading "conductor" of the Underground Railroad who had blackouts and visions from childhood beatings and talked to God. African American director Lemmons eschews the violent horror of Steve McQueen's more original and powerful but also excessive 12 Years a Slave (NYFF 2013) and focuses instead on this extraordinary woman's anger, courage, and holiness as as she first escapes from the Brodus Maryland farm to The Railway HQ in Philadelphia, then returns to free her family, and mounts 13 more missions recovering 70 people in the 1840's and 1850's. Cynthia Erivo is extremely convincing in the lead. The costumes are precisely accurate but as often happens, the dialogue maybe not so much. The family that had owned Harriet is shown to be economically failing, dependent on their slaves as their most valuable asset, held responsible by neighbors for their own escaped slaves. Some think the film gets too personal about this family but it shows how embedded the "peculiar institution" was. One feels both uplifted and horrified. Watched at Albany Twin New Year's Day 2020. Metascore: 66%.
    Last edited by Chris Knipp; 01-02-2020 at 02:48 PM.


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