Harriet (2019)

Harriet
Director: Kasi Lemmons
Writer: Gregory Allen Howard, Kasi Lemmons
Cast: Cynthia Erivo, Leslie Odom Jr., Joe Alwyn, Clarke Peters, Vanessa Bell Calloway, Omar J. Dorsey, Henry Hunter Hall, Janelle Monáe
Seen on: 6.8.2020

Content Note: (critical treatment of) racism, slavery

Plot:
Minty (Cynthia Erivo) is enslaved by the Brodess family. Her husband John Tubman (Zackary Momoh) is free and he wants to see Minty free, too. But there is no legal opinion the Brodesses will accept. After the death of the patriarch, his son Gideon (Joe Alwyn), who more or less grew up with Minty, takes over and things take a turn worse for her: he threatens to sell her. In an act of desperation she runs away – to become Harriet Tubman.

Harriet tells the story of a fantastic Black woman, but it was too preoccupied for me to make Tubman into a literal emissary of god. Ultimately Harriet existing at all is much more radical than the film itself.

The film poster showing William Still (Leslie Odom Jr.), Harriet Tubman (Cynthia Erivo) and Mary Buchanon (Janelle Monáe) above the silhouette of Harriet walking through a field with her gun raised.
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Doctor Sleep (2019)

Doctor Sleep
Director: Mike Flanagan
Writer: Mike Flanagan
Based on: Stephen King‘s novel
Sequel to: The Shining
Cast: Ewan McGregor, Kyliegh Curran, Rebecca Ferguson, Cliff Curtis, Zahn McClarnon, Emily Alyn Lind, Selena Anduze, Robert Longstreet, Carel Struycken, Zackary Momoh, Jocelin Donahue, Bruce Greenwood, Sallye Hooks, Alex Essoe, Jacob Tremblay
Seen on: 27.11.2019

Content Note: antiziganism

Plot:
Dan (Ewan McGregor) has had a rough go of it. The only way he knew how to deal with his supernatural abilities was to drown it in alcohol. But he is trying to change and to get a fresh start in a small town in New Hampshire. Once he is settled there, he realizes that another person with the same abilities, but stronger, is reaching out to him – a young girl called Abra (Kyliegh Curran). Abra knows that something bad is happening to kids like her – and she needs Dan’s help to figure it all out.

Doctor Sleep has the difficutl tasl of being a sequel to a book and a film which deviate from one another, and it does manage to make something interesting from those diverging predecessors. But the film’s blatant antiziganism is a huge problem.

The film poster showing a red hallway with Dan (Ewan McGregor) wallking towards a boy on a tricycle.
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