Based on the thrilling and inspirational life of an iconic American freedom fighter, Harriet tells the extraordinary tale of how Harriet Tubman (Cynthia Erivo), born into slavery in Maryland, escaped to Philadelphia and transformed herself into one of America’s greatest heroes. Working with the network of antislavery activists and safe houses known as the Underground Railroad, and inspired by visions and dreams which she believed had been sent to her by God, she used her courage and ingenuity to smuggle hundreds of slaves to safety in Northern states, and earned the title “Moses”. With Janelle Monáe and Leslie Odom Jr.
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“Harriet, directed by Kasi Lemmons and anchored by Cynthia Erivo’s precise and passionate performance in the title role, is a rousing and powerful drama, respectful of both the historical record and the cravings of modern audiences. The story of Tubman’s escape from enslavement on a Maryland farm and her subsequent leadership in the underground railroad is conveyed in bold, emphatic strokes. Villainy and virtue are clearly marked, and the evil that Tubman resisted is illuminated alongside her bravery.” New York Times
“With several different African American actresses suggested over the years, the film got lucky with Londoner Cynthia Erivo, who captures something of the power of Tubman’s gaze and, more remarkably, her force of will. The performance she delivers is the film’s greatest asset and makes her a serious contender this awards season, but though she dominates the film, she’s not all there is to appreciate here. John Toll’s cinematography and Terence Blanchard’s score both add something special that elevates this beyond run-of-the-mill biopic status and give it something of the weight it deserves.” Eye for Film
“Erivo is hypnotic playing a woman whose courage never fails her, transforming from cowed slave to confident activist. Indeed, her performance is more subtle than some of the directorial choices, but as a story of daring and defiance Harriet is both impassioned and inspiring.“ Radio Times