Harriet: The Unbelievable True Story of Harriet Tubman, An American Legend
Logline: In the 1840s, when half of Maryland’s black residents are enslaved, Araminta “Minty” Ross escapes alone to trek 100 miles for her personal freedom then returns to lead hundreds of others out of slavery and inspire a nation.
Tagline: Be Free or Die
It’s about time Hollywood produced a film about Harriet Tubman.
As director Kasi Lemmons pointed out at the world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival, there have been 30 films about the Civil War focusing on General George Armstrong Custer. This is the first about Harriet Tubman, the famous abolitionist, Underground Railroad conductor, and armed scout and spy for the U.S. Army during the Civil War.
We all learned about the Underground Railroad and Harriet Tubman in school, but who was she really? What drove her to risk her life multiple times to help others escape slavery? Where did she find the courage?
The film answers many questions satisfactorily while giving audiences fascinating insights into her character, and her warrior spirit and heart. As the credits rolled, a friend turned to me and said, “She was so brave.”
Cynthia Erivo gives a powerhouse performance in the title role. Janelle Monáe as Marie, the boardinghouse owner, and Leslie Odom, Jr. (“Hamilton”) as William Still of the Pennsylvania Anti-Slavery Society, are also noteworthy.
Let’s hope more films about Harriet Tubman, and others like her, are made so that we never forget our nation’s traumatic history and the people who were willing to stand up for what is right.
Starring Cynthia Erivo, Janelle Monáe, Leslie Odom, Jr.
Women at the helm: Written by Kasi Lemmons and Gregory Allen Howard. Directed by Kasi Lemmons. Produced by 14 people; 5 are women: Rebecca Cammarata, Debra Martin Chase, Kristina Kendall, Elizabeth Koch, Daniela Taplin Lundberg
- Action, Biography, Drama, History
- Language: English
- Rating: Not Rated
- Running time: 2 hours, 5 minutes
- Rating (out of 5): ♥♥♥♥♥