TITLE: Free State of Jones


CAST: Matthew McConaughe­y, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Mahershala Ali and Keri Russell REVIEWER: Mapula Nkosi

DUE to the heavy subject of race that this film tackles, it is likely Free State of

Jones will be released only at Cinema Nouveau, which will be a shame.

In this epic drama, set in the 1800s and looking at soldiers who were hunted down because they are deserters, Matthew McConaughe­y is a medic called Newton Knight with a bounty on his head. He soon finds himself having more in common with the slaves.

He starts marshallin­g the poor, who are the worst taxed by war, to rebel against the state. It is an obvious irony that his name is Knight, which is always a reminder of the white liberal stories dominating film narratives.

If it was not two hours long, McConaughe­y, with his spirited portrayal, would have pulled it off better, but one cannot help but feel that at least 40 minutes could have been shaved off.

Neverthele­ss, in the year of race problems in South Africa, this movie will resonate and Gugu Mbatha-Raw and Mahershala Ali’s great performanc­es will have you riveted, so you will not waste your ticket money.

Free State of Jones releases today. VERDICT: Good

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