: Minty/Harriet: Cynthia Erivo (Minty/Harriet)
Despite gaining a legal right to freedom as her mother should have been released at age 45, Minty's master tears up the document and refuses her release. After the master dies and his son takes over Minty is forced to flee on her own leaving her freeman husband, mother and sister behind.
She makes it alone to Pensylvania (a free state) where she falls in with the anti-slavery movement. She becomes a conductor on the freedom railroad, returning to Maryland to bring back parties of escaped slaves.
As civil war looms she moves to Canada and then returns to rescue the rest of her family and confront the young master.
In a coda we see her commanding a troop in the civil war conducting a daring raid into Confederate territory to rescue a large group of slaves. The end credits reveal that she survived until 1913 when she died at age 91 surrounded by loving family and friends.
A Good Story Well Told
by rogerco on Sun 20th Jun 2021. DVD proj @ home
I enjoyed this tale, with the added piquancy of being based on a true story. Cynthia Erivo (Minty/Harriet) holds the screen as she progresses from cowed slave to inspiring commander. The photography is excellent throughout and the music track not too distracting.
It is a very conventional film, not really pushing any boundaries. Some of the chase scenes slightly stretch credulity - can a person really outrun a horse through fairly open woodland, can tracking dogs not catch her and loose the scent that easily - but these only require minor suspension of disbelief.
The whole business of Harriet being guided by the voice of god is handled well - whilst sensing danger and finding a safe river crossing can be read as minor miracles thanks to divine intervention, they can equally well be read as tapping into embodied wisdom, or even pure luck - so all sides are satisfied.
All in all I was well satisfied with this movie - not a classic but a good story well told.