Posted in Based on a true story, U.S. Film

FREE STATE OF JONES (2016)

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A film by Gary Ross

Cast: Matthew McConaughey, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Mahershala Ali

American Civil War, defiant  Southern farmer, Newt Knight (Matthew McConaughey), becomes a deserter and ends up leading a small but effective armed rebellion against the Confederacy. Banding together with other farmers and local slaves, Knight launches an uprising that leads Jones County, Mississippi, creating a Free State of Jones,a southern region that opposed and/or threatened to secede from the Confederacy.

Here is a different kind of civil war movie the one that is not in the history book that I know of. It tells the true story of a rogue farmer rebelling against the Confederacy. This man recruits fellow army deserters and runaway slaves in his fight against military confiscation of land and supplies. You see the state is supposed to take 10% but the state instead takes it all leaving the farmers to starve in the winter. Along the way, Newt breaks down barriers between soldier and civilian, white and black, free and enslaved. The film explain notes on the screen as it progresses through time. The performances are not too surprising here you know that McConaughey is going to be incarnated the personage perfectly well. As for Gugu Mbatha-Raw is terrific here as the slave who becomes the mother of Knight’s second son, the young man who is the bridge to the story’s extraordinary continuation some 85 years later.It is missing something in this story they are so much to tell that Ross I think was obligated to cut a lot of it. But it is still good. Mahershala Ali is memorable as the black slave Moses, who is one of the first freedmen when Abraham Lincoln freed  the slaves.

FREE STATE OF JONES

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