“Harriet” Launches UrbanWorld 2019 With A Shotgun Bang

Reporting by Abe Issacs

(AllHipHop Features) The UrbanWorld Film Festival kicked off with a bang, a bang of freedom. The highly touted film “Harriet” was the centerpiece of the launch, which tells the tale of Harriet Tubman. Tubman was an abolitionist, activist and American hero. 

The film’s director Kasi Lemmons (Eve’s Bayou, Black Nativity) described Tubman as one of “America’s first superhero” on the opening night of UrbanWorld, which was buzzing around the red carpet. The UrbanWorld Film Festival is one of the largest internationally competitive festivals of its kind. The festival curates a slate of films representing the broadest spectrum of films and movies for people of color.

The film stars Cynthia Erivo (Windows, Bad Times at the El Royale) and delves deep into the genocidal, America institution known as slavery. Erivo’s portrayal of Harriet is rooted in an unwavering need to free her family and other enslaved Africans from the horrors of American Slavery.  The performances of all parties, including Leslie Odom Jr., Joe Alwyn, and Janelle Monáe, were remarkable and will undeniably evoke emotions that will feel palpable coming off the screen to moviegoers. 

Harriet offers a layered, nuanced heroine that will compliment the version most people have learned. Refreshingly and fortunately, this film is not a depiction of the brutal physical horrors of slavery that has been seen repeatedly in other movies. Instead, Harriet thoroughly examines the psyche of a woman who bravely navigates her instincts and emotions, willing to sacrifice her life in doing so. 

Most superheroes wear a brightly colored outfit and have superhuman powers, however Harriet clearly shows another sort of super being. Harriet Tubman’s cape is exhibited through courage and the power of love.

Here are some pictures from the night with Cynthia Erivo, lead actress (in yellow), Kasi Lemmons, the director (in glasses) and Deborah Martin-Chase, the executive producer (is in all black).

Deborah Martin Chase, EP of Harriet

Deborah Martin-Chase, the executive producer

Cynthia Erivo as Harriet

Cynthia Erivo, lead actress

Kasi Lemmons, director of Harriet

Kasi Lemmons, the director

Screenshot 2019-09-19 at 9.34.38 PM

Cynthia Erivo, lead actress

 A must-see, Harriet opens on November 1, 2019.