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kenmorefield

Harriet (2019)

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Trailer drop:

 

Grace Hill is working with Focus on this, so I presume there will be some push towards Christian audiences.

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I'm looking forward to this one.

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On 7/23/2019 at 9:19 AM, BethR said:

I'm looking forward to this one.

Yes! And I'd love to see a film like this that foregrounded Tubman's faith.

I must admit that I'd hoped such a film would get made and star Octavia Spencer after seeing the Drunk History take on her. I'm not a fan of the premise of Drunk History, but this one is pretty good.

 

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Until seeing By the Grace of God yesterday, this had been my favorite film since TIFF, and it's still a near-run thing.  This is excellent on damn near every level (with a week's hindsight, I'm less convinced of Leslie Odom's thespian prowess):  a high level of historical fidelity, respect but not hagiography of its protagonist, top visuals, and an incredible lead performance by Cynthia Erivo.  My full review: https://www.patheos.com/blogs/secularcinephile/2019/11/harriet-an-epic-worthy-of-its-hero-relevant-to-our-time/

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I thought this one better than anticipated. It does not soft pedal the religious angle while also not overplaying it, a hard thing in this day and age. 

I did think the script was clunky and sporadic in spots, more like individual episodes strung together than a cohesive whole. 
 

I thought the film was largely successful in demonstrating how slavery as a system was bad for whites and condoned/promoted some of the behavior more often attributed to individual evil. That is, it did better than most at showing slavery as a systemic and structural evil rather than just the manifestation of individual(s) evil...and that's the brass ring right there. I am categorically not saying that it makes a moral equivalence between the victimization or pressures the system put on whites and those it put on slaves. It doesn't. But it does show through economic pressures, community pressures within white culture, and government support of fugitive-slave-law the internal logic of many such actions as being necessitated by the system. Once you accept the system of slavery, things like the Fugitive Slave Law are logical conclusions. 

I do wish the film had interrogated the religious assumptions of Harriet more, particularly as to the question of whether or not others recognized her as being called and led by God or whether, when she spoke that way, they were just "that's Harriet being Harriet." 

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