'Harriet': Release date, plot, cast, trailer and everything you need to know about the iconic American freedom fighter's biopic

Although Harriet's entire life is remarkable, the movie especially focuses on the period in her life that earned her the name 'Moses'


                            'Harriet': Release date, plot, cast, trailer and everything you need to know about the iconic American freedom fighter's biopic

'Harriet' is a biographical movie about slave-turned-abolitionist Harriet Tubman, which premiered at the 2019 Toronto Film Festival. Harriet, an abolitionist and political activist, who was born into slavery, escaped and eventually rescued many enslaved people as well.

She is an American hero, and her life has inspired many works of art including songs, novels, sculptors, paintings, movies, and theatrical productions. 

Produced under the banner of Focus Films, 'Harriet' is one of the most anticipated films of November 2019, with many fans of the freedom fighter expressing how much they are looking forward to watching the story of their hero recreated for the newer generations. 

Release Date

After its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival on September 10, 2019, 'Harriet' is all set for a theatrical release on November 1, 2019.

Plot

Although Harriet's entire life is remarkable, the movie especially focuses on the period in her life that earned her the name "Moses". After escaping slavery in 1849, she made about 13 missions to rescue approximately 70 enslaved people, which also included her family and friends.

She utilized the informally well-organized Underground Railroad system, which was composed of free and enslaved black people, white abolitionists, and other activists.

The movie will also focus on the close relationship that Harriet had with God. After a slave owner injured her head with a heavy metal weight, he caused lifelong damages to her, including spells of hypersomnia and visions. She associated these visions with God and used that as the inspiration to save herself and others from slave owners. 

Cast

Cynthia Erivo as Harriet Tubman

Cynthia Erivo plays the iconic freedom fighter (Getty Images)

After a casting process that potentially saw the likes of Viola Davis as Harriet, British actress Ervio was cast as the iconic freedom fighter.

Many activists had argued that the British-Nigerian woman should not have been cast in the role which should have gone to a Black American with a lineage of enslavement in the United States. However, her performance is being heralded as brilliant since its TIFF premiere. 

Leslie Odom Jr. as William Still

Leslie Odom Jr. plays William Still in the movie (Getty Images)

The actor, singer, and rapper who played Aaron Burr in the original Broadway production of 'Hamilton' plays William Still, the Philadelphia-based abolitionist who was also a conductor on the Underground Railroad. A businessman, writer, historian, and civil rights activist, Still directly aided many fugitive slaves. 

Janelle Monáe as Marie Buchanon

Janelle Monáe plays a free black woman, Marie (Getty Images)

Monáe's Marie is a free black woman, who is also a proprietor and a close friend of Harriet. She trains her and equips her with the knowledge to use a revolver, which Harriet put to good use during her rescue missions.

Other pivotal characters in the movie include Joe Alwyn as Harriet's slave owner Gideon Brodess, Zackary Momoh as Harriet’s husband John Tubman, Vanessa Bell Calloway as Harriet’s mother Rit Ross, and Clarke Peters as Harriet's father Ben Ross.

Director/Writer

Director Kasi Lemmons of 'Harriet' (Getty Images)

The screenplay for the movie was written by Kasi Lemmons and Gregory Allen Howard, while Lemmons also directed 'Harriet. Known for her work on films such as 'Talk to Me', 'Eve's Bayou', and 'The Caveman's Valentine', Lemmons has been described by film scholar Wheeler Winston Dixon as  "an ongoing testament to the creative possibilities of film."

Trailer



 

The trailer for 'Harriet' was released by Focus Features on July 23, 2019, and it gives us a glimpse into the thrilling and inspirational life of one of America's greatest heroes. We see how the movie approaches her courage, ingenuity, and tenacity in a nearly 3-minute video. 

If you like this, you will love these:

'A Woman Called Moses'

'12 Years a Slave'

'Hidden Figures'

'Queen and Slim'

'Django Unchained'

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