Free State of Jones

Malta Independent - - CINEMA -

Based on Os­car®-nom­i­nated writer/di­rec­tor Gary Ross’ orig­i­nal screenplay, the epic ac­tion­drama Free State of Jones tells the ex­tra­or­di­nary story of a lit­tle known episode in Amer­i­can his­tory dur­ing which Newt Knight, a fear­less Mis­sis­sippi farmer, led an un­likely band of poor white farm­ers and run­away slaves in an his­toric armed re­bel­lion against the Con­fed­er­acy dur­ing the height of the Civil War. Jux­ta­pos­ing and com­ple­ment­ing the nar­ra­tive in in­ter­mit­tent flash-for­wards is the 1948 trial of The State of Mis­sis­sippi ver­sus Davis Knight, the key de­fen­dant in a ground break­ing mis­ce­gena­tion trial, and the great-grand­son of Newt Knight and his com­mon law wife and for­mer slave, Rachel. Stand­ing side by side in op­po­si­tion to a ‘rich man’s war, and poor man’s fight,’ Knight’s brave fol­low­ers took up arms against the Con­fed­er­acy and es­tab­lished an in­domitable rebel reg­i­ment deep in ru­ral Mis­sis­sippi’s im­pen­e­tra­ble swamps, giv­ing them a tac­ti­cal ad­van­tage de­spite be­ing vastly out­gunned and out­num­bered. A visionary leader, Knight’s pas­sion­ate op­po­si­tion to ex­ploita­tion and prej­u­dice and his es­tab­lish­ment of the re­gion’s first mixed-race com­mu­nity, ul­ti­mately dis­tin­guished him as a cel­e­brated and al­ter­nately vil­i­fied pres­ence long af­ter the war. Os­car-win­ning ac­tor Matthew McConaughey (Dal­las Buyer’s Club, The Lin­coln Lawyer) stars as New­ton “Newt” Knight, a larger-than-life fig­ure from the re­mote Piney Woods area of Mis­sis­sippi, whose ded­i­ca­tion to jus­tice and equal­ity in­spired his pop­u­lar re­bel­lion against all odds and ob­sta­cles. Star­ring with McConaughey are Gugu Mbatha-Raw (Con­cus­sion, Be­yond the Lights) as Newt’s con­fi­dant and even­tual com­mon-law wife, Rachel; Ma­her­shala Ali (The Hunger Games: Mock­ing­jay Part 1) as Moses Wash­ing­ton, a run­away slave and a guid­ing force in the re­bel­lion; and Keri Rus­sell (Wait­ress, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes) as his first wife, Serena Knight. 3 Free State of Jones is writ­ten and di­rected by four-time Os­car® nom­i­nee Gary Ross (The Hunger Games, Se­abis­cuit, Pleas­antville)—based on his decade­long in­de­pen­dent re­search—from a story by Ross and Leonard Hart­man, and pro­duced by Ross through his Larger Than Life Pro­duc­tions shin­gle, along with Scott Stu­ber (Ted, Safe House) and Jon Ki­lik (Fox­catcher, The Hunger Games). Diana Al­varez (The Hunger Games) is co- pro­ducer.

Clas­si­fi­ca­tion 15

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