After escaping slavery, the heroic Harriet Tubman joins the Underground Railroad to ensure the freedom for hundreds of men and women in this revolutionary historical drama.
Few films this year are as much a cause for celebration as Harriet, which finally gives legendary activist and abolitionist Harriet Tubman the biopic treatment befitting her remarkable story. Kasi Lemmons (Eve’s Bayou) expressively captures the horror of a fragmented country unwilling to change its ways, as well as the sacrifices made by hundreds of unsung heroes. Harriet picks up with its heroine long before her name became synonymous with liberation, when she’s a young, enslaved woman named Araminta “Minty” Ross. Born into slavery in 1822, the vulnerable Minty (Cynthia Erivo, PFF27’s Widows) suffers from debilitating seizures she believes to be divine premonitions. When she learns that she is to be sold rather than freed, Minty flees alone by moonlight across rough terrain for many grueling miles to the safe haven of Philadelphia. A stranger in a strange land, Minty befriends resistance members like local printer William Still (Leslie Odom Jr.) and slave harboring debutante Marie (Janelle Monáe, Hidden Figures). She adopts the name of Harriet Tubman as she’s introduced to a city of free men and women. Yet before she can be fitted in her new corset, Harriet is off on a perilous mission to free her loved ones, and eventually many more, who have been left behind. Her selflessness inspires the hopeless, but infuriates the obsessive Edward Brodess (Joe Alwyn, PFF27’s The Favourite), son of her former master, whose torch-wielding mob will stop at nothing to derail her train. Tony winner Cynthia Erivo passionately embodies the soul and courage of the eponymous abolitionist, who many slave owners of the South would come to fear as the phantom of the night, “Moses.” Harriet offers a powerful opportunity to honor the life of a true American hero.
CAST: CYNTHIA ERIVO, JANELLE MONÁE, LESLIE ODOM JR., JOE ALWYN
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