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Harriet - Movie Review

Allison - AV February 07, 2020

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The 2019 film Harriet follows the story of Araminta “Minty” Ross, a Maryland slave who runs for freedom a few years before the start of the Civil War. Upon reaching freedom in Philadelphia, Minty meets a man named William Still, who encourages her to choose a new name for herself in honor of her newly found freedom. Minty chooses the name Harriet Tubman. The film proceeds to follow Harriet’s participation on the Underground Railroad as she returns to Maryland on several occasions in order to free her family and other slaves. It also touches on the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 and Harriet’s involvement in the Civil War. The movie was so fascinating that I wanted to read a little more about Harriet’s life and, in doing so, realized that the film covers the events in Harriet’s life in a slightly different order than they actually happened. (I suspect that this was done in order to make the storyline easier to follow, so I don’t fault the filmmakers for it.) However, the acting was top-of-the-line, the costuming was superb, and the music was beautiful – I can see how Harriet received two nominations for the 2020 Academy Awards. The only true criticism I have is that I found it difficult to gauge how much time passed between events as specific timeframes were not indicated (likely due to the rearranged timeline mentioned above). All in all, I feel like Harriet was time well spent.

Overall Rating: A-

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