The remarkable life of freedom fighter Harriet Tubman is told with heart and cinematic craft in Kasi Lemmons stirring biopic History, heroism and leadership are the stuff of Kasi Lemmons’ rousing and heartfelt film about the life and times of Harriet Tubman, the Spartacus of the American south. Cynthia Erivo gives a terrific star performance as Tubman, a slave who suffers from blackouts and religious visions, after being assaulted as a child, which give her a miraculous self-possession and confidence in her own destiny. Erivo embodies Harriet’s courage, resourcefulness, physical toughness, talent (and relish) for disguise and untutored genius for guerrilla warfare. The result falls somewhere between a slave-escape drama, an action thriller, a western and even an unexpected kind of superhero film. It’s a winning combination, although Lemmons does not immerse us in the agony and injustice of slavery as such; she puts together a well-crafted movie that is the showcase for an excellent performance from Erivo.
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