The Harriet film is truly an artistic work of cinematography that is exemplary for Black History Month. Viewing this movie is like going to a museum exhibition and seeing a series of paintings that portray great historical importance. Shot entirely in Richmond, Virginia, dark and light scenes are used, from the breathtaking Virginia landscape, to tell Harriet’s story.
The dark scenes in the movie describe all the obstacles that Harriet faced as she freed slaves. She Harriet has flashbacks of being beaten on the Brodess farm, by her master, Gideon Brodess, the images are certainly gloomy.
However, there are many bright scenes in this film, especially when Harriet takes a 100 long like journey, from Maryland to Pennslyvania and finds freedom.
Despite all the challenges that she faces, Harriet never falters, not even in the face of peril. The sunrises and sunsets in the movie are metaphors for Harriet’s courageousness and her victories as an abolitionist.
Every scene in the film shows Harriet’s indomitable spirit and strength of character. In my estimation, the scene that depicted Harriet’s leadership the most was when she told the freedom seeking slaves that they had to cross a river. Already they all had doubts about Harriet’s ability to lead. In that instant, she takes complete control, with a rifle in het hand, and says,”I am Harriet Tubman. Do what I say?”
Kasi Lemmons, the director of the Harriet film, certainly made the right choice in casting Cynthia Erivo for the leading role as Harriet Tubman. Ervio’s eyes are highly expressive and very similar to Harriet Tubman’s eyes. Using her body, her voice and her facial expressions to make Harriet’s character cone to life, Ervio’s performance received plenty of accolades. She received an Academy Awards nomination for Best Actress among many other distinctions.
With a budget of $17 million, the Harriet film made $43 million worldwide demonstrating that a successful movie can be entertaining and have historical value as well. Artistic license is used to tell Harriet’s story in this film, but this is one of the many strengths of this movie. After all, history can be interpreted. Lemmons’ certainly delves deep into Harriet’s character creating a very accurate portrait of the personality that she truly possessed in real life.
The Harriet film certainly uses the beauty of nature to tell the story of one of America’s bravest abolitionists creating a cinematic gem. Harriet says to other abolitionists: “You were born free. You forget what it was like…” We should never take for granted the freedom that we have, not only on Black History Month but always.