Magazine article U.S. Catholic

Free State of Jones

Magazine article U.S. Catholic

Free State of Jones

Article excerpt

FREE STATE OF JONES

Directed by Gary Ross (IM Global, 2016)

Free State of Jones contains a lot of promise: an A-list actor in Matthew McConaughey, an accomplished writer/director in Gary Ross (The Hunger Games, Seabiscuit), and a compelling story grounded in little-known events that took place during the American Civil War. But the movie collapses under its own weight by trying to accomplish too much in a short period of time.

The story focuses on Newton Knight, who rose up in armed rebellion against the Confederate States of America. Growing tired of fighting for the rich white planters of the south, Knight deserts the army. While helping out a local widow, Knight is chased into the nearby swamps to hide with runaway slaves. He decides to fight against the Confederate government and drive them out of the county with his ragtag army of army vets and former slaves. They declare a free state dedicated to the idea that all men and women are created equal. …

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