The movie HARRIET was truly one of heart and soul, in which Harriet Tubman in the 19th century actively freed hundreds of slaves after herself escaping from bondage in 1849. I liked how the story kept it personal via scenes of constant, up close human interactions interspersed with displays of Harriet’s inner life of deep faith and psychic ability. The latter element, very likely fictionalized, is nonetheless effective and believable here.
While in 5th grade some decades ago, I read about Ms. Tubman and watched an old black and white film on her life as a courageous abolitionist, starring Ruby Dee in the title role. With big shoes to fill, Cynthia Erivo is quite compelling in this new production about a historical figure long-deserving of more notoriety than she has yet received. It was wonderful to re-experience my decades-old feelings of deep intrigue, respect, and appreciation for this woman who called herself “Moses.” Given that she assisted many people across a river en-route to unfettered lives in an at least more promising land, the Old Testament name-title is perfect for her.
HARRIET constantly moved me to tears, with its straightforward narrative about overcoming incredible odds to achieve a basic human need and right for herself and others: freedom. We should all be so fortunate to have as clear and pure a purpose in life and unwavering determination to carry it out, no matter what the cost. I am grateful that this movie was made. I am grateful for Harriet Tubman.