slave films

The success of Quentin Tarantino’s Django: Unchained has sparked, what some movie critics are calling, “slave movie fever.” There seems to be a new trend of slave-themed films that are popping up left and right — seven more are scheduled to premiere this year.

After the releases Case départ, Django, and Lincoln, our nation engaged in many conversations about one of its darkest times in history. Some people argued this dialogue was needed and positive, while others strongly believed this was Hollywood’s way of exploiting the ancestors of African-Americans.

The upcoming films include:

1. Twelve Years A Slave, starring Chiwetel Ejiofor, Brad Pitt, Alfre Woodard, Quvenzhané Wallis, and Michael Kenneth Williams. Directed by Steve McQueen, the movie centers around a free Black man living in New York in the mid-1800s. He is kidnapped and sold into slavery in the deep south.

2. Savannah, starring James Caviezel and Chiwetel Ejiofor, is a movie loosely based on John Eugene Cay, Jr’s Ducks, Dogs and Friends. The book-turned movie tells the story of a well-educated hunter who develops a friendship with a freed slave.

3. Something Whispered stars Cuba Gooding Jr. and centers on a man who attempts to free his family from slavery on a tobacco plantation in 1850.

4. The North Star is an independent film starring former NFL linebacker Jeremiah Trotter and Keith David. The movie tells the real story of Big Ben Jones, a slave who escaped form a Virgina plantation in 1848 and gets help from local Quakers.

5. The Keeping Room is a Civil War drama about 3 southern women living during the war who are forced to protect their home against a group of Union Army solders.

6. Belle is a film written and produced by Britsh actress Amma Asante. It is set in the 1700s and tells the story of a mixed-race girl, raised as an aristocrat in 18th-century England, who falls in love with a man who is an advocate for slave emancipation.

7. Tula: The Revolt, starring Danny Glover, is a movie based on the slave uprising on the island and Dutch colony of Curacao in 1795.

According to one Indiewire writer, Hollywood seems to be in a celebratory mode, recognizing the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation.

In 1863, President Lincoln signed the law into order that freed all slaves in the Confederate territory. Many of the forthcoming movies tell the stories of slaves fighting for their freedom, or adjusting to life as free people after the Emancipation Proclamation.

Slavery was a painful time for both Black Americans and Whites. Do you think Hollywood should stay away from slave-themed productions?

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