TIFF’19: Harriet

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Harriet Tubman was an incredible woman and remains an important part of our history. Born Araminta “Minty” Ross, and later changing her name to Harriet Tubman (inspired by her mother and husband), she would ultimately be nicknamed ?Moses?, a leader to freedom. A conductor of the Underground Railroad, she not only escaped slavery herself, but is responsible for freeing approximately 70 other people. She was a vital player in the fight to abolish slavery in the American Civil War, acting as a cook, nurse, spy, and was the first woman ever to lead an armed assault. With that said, I was shocked to learn that Harriet (directed by Kasi Lemmons) is the first feature film made about this exceptional woman.

Harriet was able to tackle the enormous task of retelling a crucial story in history so successfully that I believe this film could (and should) be shown in classrooms around the world. This film is simultaneously real and emotional yet has an incredible hopefulness to it. I can still see Harriet (Cynthia Erivo) holding her hands up to frame the rising sun as she steps across the border to freedom for the first time. She wove her desperation into determination, proclaiming “Imma be free or die”, and did everything in her power to succeed.

Being such a momentous figure in our history, Harriet will be well worth your time.  It will be released in Canada and the USA on November 1, 2019.

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