Movie Review-Free State of Jones
FREE STATE OF JONES, starring Matthew McConaughey, is an epic drama set during the Civil War. It tells the story of a defiant Southern farmer, Newt Knight, who comes to realize that as poor whites he, and other “non-privileged” soldiers, is dying to help rich whites in the south stay rich and to keep their slaves on their plantations.
The story, based on fact, is an amazing tale about a group of Confederate deserters, along with other poor farmers and slaves, who fight against the South in an uprising that gained them their freedom in the small county of Jones, Mississippi. The Free State of Jones eventually seceded from the state of Mississippi to create a free state in Jones County. The movie is directed by four time Oscar nominee, Gary Ross, who goes to great length to show the injustice done to African Americans during that time and the gruesomeness of war. The movie is harsh and violent, with some pretty hardcore battle scenes that are a little bit hard to watch. As a mater of fact, the entire movie is a little bit hard to watch. It makes you mad, but more importantly it keeps alive the memories of the atrocities of the past and truly tells it like it was in the old south. I don’t think we should ever forget how many African Americans died simply because they were trying to live their lives as free men. The movie claims to be historically accurate and there is no “white washing” of this violent and cruel time in our nation’s history.
I know a lot of people question why they should support another movie about slavery. Well, Free State of Jones is also a tale of bravery and courage that was shown by former slaves. Slaves who, even after the Emancipation Proclamation, were still denied their rights to vote and denied their rights as free men.
It’s an important film that, in my opinion, is not to be missed. The movie is rated “R” for violence, cruelness and language and has a run time of well over 2 hours. On my “Hollywood Popcorn Scale” I rate Free State of Jones a JUMBO.