Cynthia Erivo stars as freedom fighter Harriet Tubman in new biopic ‘Harriet’ (VIDEO)

British actress and singer Cynthia Erivo at the September 2018 Toronto premiere of 'Widows'. — AFP pic
British actress and singer Cynthia Erivo at the September 2018 Toronto premiere of 'Widows'. — AFP pic

LOS ANGELES, July 24 — Cynthia Erivo (Widows) stars as abolitionist and Underground Railroad pioneer Harriet Tubman in Harriet, directed by Kasi Lemmons (Eve’s Bayou, Talk to Me).

Focus Features’ historical drama tells the story of the iconic freedom fighter, following her on her 1849 escape from slavery in Dorchester County, Maryland to freedom in Philadelphia, as well as her subsequent missions to free other slaves in the American South, using the network of antislavery activists and safe houses known as the Underground Railroad.

Lemmons directed the film and co-wrote the screenplay along with Gregory Allen Howard (Ali, Remember the Titans).

“I’m gonna be free or die,” Erivo says as Tubman, caught between two groups of captors, before jumping off a bridge into a stream.

The trailer shows glimpses of Tubman’s new life as a free woman and her work on the Underground Railroad, including guiding slaves to freedom, learning to wield a pistol and speaking at public meetings. “I will give every last drop of blood in my veins until this monster called slavery is dead,” she says.

Leslie Odom Jr plays abolitionist William Still, who helped organise and finance many of Tubman’s trips on the Underground Railroad. Other cast members include Janelle Monae, Joe Alwyn, Jennifer Nettles and Clark Peters.

Harriet will be in US theatres November 1, with a global release in early 2020.

Erivo will next be seen in Chaos Walking and Needle in a Timestack. — AFP-Relaxnews

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