It is amazing to me how well the movie industry does with the Civil War; they are usually pretty historically accurate, along with giving us good action and picking interesting characters. You have great movies, like "Cold Mountain," "Gettysburg," "Gods and Generals," "The Conspirator," "Lincoln," and -- my favorite -- "Glory."
A lot of film makers like to make movies about the Civil War because it is one of the most decisive and bloody wars in American history. Setting up the brother against brother or sister against sister scenario as our country is being torn apart tugs on heartstrings and makes the stories relatable. Most of these movies mainly focus on the Grey and the Blue in combat, or on the higher ranking soldiers fighting in the war between the states.
"Free State of Jones" is a very interesting tale, telling us a story that we have never seen before in both our history books or any other Civil War movies.I had a complete blast with this movie! It was filled with great action scenes that were very dynamic and great main characters who I couldn't believe were real.
The basis of this story is that in the height of the Civil War a Confederate soldier named Newton Knight decides to desert the Confederate Army. Through the movie, we see that Knight and many other southerners in Mississippi were not uniformly happy to fight in the name of the South. Knight, along with other deserters, where sick and tired of fighting the "rich man's war," of fighting in order to keep other men and women in chains for the profits of the plantation owners. It is literally a civil war within a civil war.
The movie was long, around two hours or so, but it covers a lot of ground from the Civil War to Reconstruction of the South. This story has to be told, because it helps us bind the wounds of racism. Not giving any spoilers away here, but this movie really shows how one person (Knight) can change people's hatred by educating them on what is happening around them.
Newton Knight's story really is a remarkable one -- going up against the odds, standing up for what is right, being way ahead of his time by understanding that capitalism has shown it's true evil with the selling of other peoples. If you have a friend who thinks the Civil War was not fought over slavery or that everything was going great for the African Americans after the War, show this movie to them. I'll bet it may change their mind.
Definitely check this movie out. It is hard, at the end, to stomach through but you learn a great lesson from it; there is also many ties to the recent conflicts in our country both politically and racially.