Let Me State This: “The Free State of Jones”

English: Actor Matthew McConaughey at the 83rd...

English: Actor Matthew McConaughey at the 83rd Academy Awards. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Not everything in the new Civil War movie, The Free State of Jones (2016), makes sense, but it is a worthwhile product.  Lifted from history, it focuses on Confederate army deserters and runaway slaves, led by Matthew McConaughey‘s Newton Knight, who live for a long while in a swamp.

That self-serving Confederate soldiers intent on stealing a Southern woman’s hogs never return to her house after Newt and four females, armed with rifles, hold them off is one of the nonsensical items here.  And yet there is a nice historical scope to Jones, and it is rich and transportingly presented.

Set, of course, in a Christian sphere, the story proffers a gent who is—and, in history, was—a pseudo-Christian activist.  He is properly anti-slavery but also parts from his wife (Keri Russell) without divorcing her and starts living with ex-slave Rachel (Gugu Mbatha-Raw).  (In history, he had a bunch of children with her.)  This is Newt Knight.  Can’t deny he is interesting.


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