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  • Subject Name : Film analysis

A Veteran Teacher’s Lessons

Title of the Film

Harriet (2019)

A General Overview of The Film

The Harriet movie is directed by Kasi Lemmons with a powerful and respectful drama based on historical records. It presents an effective story for the modern audience based on the story of Tubman’s escape from enslavement. This story focuses on the Maryland farm wherein Harriet shows her courage, leadership skills and emphatic strokes. Her resistance towards evil marks the virtue and villainy criteria in the movie. The name “Harriet” is the freedom name for the lady that represents the liberator. She, her siblings and her mother, were the slaves of the Brodess family with a complete right over them. Wherein her husband John Tubman and Ben Ross were free (Forrest, 2019; Scott, 2019). This movie is based on the achievements of Harriet to gain freedom and show the slavery horrors among people. The cruelty, moral dishonesty and chattel slavery are highlighted in the movie with the movement of freedom. The brutality of the masters with the pain of enslavement can be seen on the face of people and scarred bodies. It is like a biography of the historical figure that is directly based on emotional inferences. The escape of Harriet Tubman from slavery promoted the transformation in American history (Forrest, 2019; Scott, 2019).

Use of The Film in History Classes

Harrier movie can be used in the history classes with a view of American slavery. Significance of Underground Railroad, biographical specifics of Tubman's life and relevant facts about American slavery can help the students to understand American history and find their interest in the different phases of history. This film highlights the biography of Harriet Tubman (1822-1913) who was a famous conductor of Underground Railroads (Forrest, 2019; PBS, 2019; Scott, 2019). It shows how people were used as slaves with a full right of their life and death. Powerful cinematography provides an idea of the courageous and hazardous journey of Tubman towards freedom. It can help the students to imagine the danger of slave catchers and how Minty used to travel with the guidance of North Star. She is involving many other people with her on the journey which shows the operations of Underground Railroad. It shows that how anti-slavery activists are providing transportation, shelter and food to the people who are escaping from slavery (Forrest, 2019; Scott, 2019).

With the dramatic freedom, Minty gets a new name as Harriet which shows per pathway to freedom. She also escaped her family in a highly risky situation and travelled South for 13 times to free more than 70 slaves. Through bravery and courage, Harriet showed outrage among white slave owners. At the end of the movie, Harriet played the role of a spy, scout and military leader at the time of the Civil War in the North. She has liberated more than 700 slaves with the help of Union soldiers (Forrest, 2019; PBS, 2019; Scott, 2019).

This story can help in understanding the American History for the students with economic motives of the white masters. Southern slave masters devastated the African American families in terms of slavery which shows a complex role of free blacks and house slaves. With an understanding of the movie heroes that leads to an end of black and white differences, abolitionists and slavery. It can connect the students to establish an emotional connection to history (Forrest, 2019; Scott, 2019).

References for Harriet Movie Review

Forrest, D. (2019). A veteran teacher’s lessons: Harrier, a new film to teach about the underground railroad. Retrieved from: https://connected.socialstudies.org/blogs/david-forrest/2019/11/21/a-veteran-teachers-lessons-harriet-a-new-film-to-t

PBS. (2019). Why a new film about Harriet Tubman focuses on freedom. Retrieved from: https://www.pbs.org/newshour/show/why-a-new-film-about-harriet-tubman-focuses-on-freedom

Scott, A. O. (2019). Harriet review: becoming Moses. Retrieved from: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/10/31/movies/harriet-review.html

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