This week we saw the first footage of the highly-anticipated – and critically discussed – film, Harriet. The movie is the first major screen biopic chronicling Harriet Tubman’s life. Born a slave, Tubman made the treacherous trek North to freedom, only to return and lead hundreds of slaves to the same fate. Directed by Kasi Lemmons, Harriet stars Cynthia Erivo (The Color Purple, Widows) in the titular role. It also features Leslie Odom Jr. and Janelle Monae.
While I am excited for the film, the trailer did not move me. It felt extremely generic, save for the final seconds as Harriet cocks a rifle in the face of approaching racists. Maybe it’s because when I think of Tubman, I now immediately see Aisha Hinds’ wonderful performance from WGN’s defunct Underground. Or perhaps it reminds me of the controversy stirred by casting a Black Brit to play an American slave.
Either way I hope second trailer displays the raw tenacity and rebellious spirit this black feminist possessed. Harriet arrives November 1st.