“Harriet” Film Review

Beautifully Directed and cowritten by Kasi Lemmons (Eve’s Bayou) and Gregory Allen Howard (Remember the Titans), Harriet, depicts the incredible true story and life journey of abolitionist Harriet Tubman—brilliantly portrayed by British Tony Award winning actress Cynthia Erivo, also featuring memorable performances by  Leslie Odom Jr., Janelle Monae, and Joe Alwyn in the role of Gideon Brodess her tortured and highly conflicted slave master. Minty, (as she is first known before renaming herself Harriet), is subject to fainting spells in which visions of future events are made known to her. Though the fainting spells are product of a head injury at the hand of one of her masters, in her recurring motionless state, she experiences various visions used by God to warn her of danger ahead. 

The film follows Harriet as she escapes from the plantation where she was born and raised upon learning of her impending trade, leaving her husband and extended family behind. But when confronted by her slave master and other armed men at a bridge suspended over rushing water, Harriet takes the plunge preferring death to being captured. Fourtunately, the river carries her off into the woods where she begins her 100-mile north journey to Pennsylvania, where she settles and begins her life’s mission of going back to free other slaves. Throughout her life’s journey Harriet would embark on 13 missions guiding 70 slaves to freedom, making her one of America’s greatest heroes of the Underground Railroad. Though rated PG-13 for some violence and various graphic images, the film is an absolute marvel and one of the must-see films this holiday season for the whole family.  Harriet opens November 1st.

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