Harriet is a 2019 American biographical drama film directed by Kasi Lemmons and produced by Debra Martin Chase, Daniela Taplin Lundberg and Gregory Allen Howard. The screenplay was written by Gregory Allen Howard and Kasi Lemmons and is based on the story by Gregory Allen Howard.
Rated: PG-13 (movie contains thematic content throughout, violent material and language)
Run Time: 2h 5min
Release Date: November 1, 2019 (USA)
Genre: Action, Biography, Drama
Director: Kasi Lemmons
Studio: Focus Features
Budget: $17 Million
Box Office: $43.3 Million
Harriet stars Cynthia Erivo, Joe Alwyn, Clarke Peters, Vanessa Bell Calloway, Omar J. Dorsey, Henry Hunter Hall, Ton Guinee, Nick Basta, Joseph Lee Anderson, Antonio J. Bell, C.J. McBath, Alexis Louder, Aria Brooks, Janelle Monae, Zachary Momoh, Vondie Curtis-Hall and Jennifer Nettles.
Harriet is the biographical story about freedom fighter Harriet Tubman (Cynthia Erivo), and her amazing escape from slavery and transformation into one of America’s greatest heroes, whose courage, ingenuity and tenacity freed hundreds of enslaved people on the Underground Railroad and changed the course of history in the face of growing pre-Civil war adversity.
Before escaping from the hands of her slave-owners in Maryland in 1849, Tubman was known as Araminta “Minty” Ross and worked at the Brodess plantation alongside her family members and husband John (Zachary Momoh); a free man on paper but not quite in practice in the racist South. Minty decides she will be free or die and escapes from it all through a series of acts that often feel like divine mysteries guided by faith and the bright light of the North Star.
She is aided by a few people along the way including Reverend Green (Vondie Curtis-Hall) and Thomas Garrett (Tom Guinee). Eventually Minty makes it over 100 miles alone to the Pennsylvania border and met with the prospect of a new life and fresh start. Once across the border she finds William Still (Leslie Odom Jr.) who leads an organization that helps escaped slaves, and Marie Buchanon (Janelle Monae), an entrepreneur who owns and runs the Philadelphia boarding house she moves into. William Still starts documenting her journey and tells Minty she can choose a new name as a free woman and she choose Harriet after her mother who went by the name Rit which was short for Harriet and Tubman which is her husbands last name and Harriet Tubman emerged a free black woman in Pennsylvania.
Missing her family, she risks her own freedom and travels back to Maryland to rescue her husband John. When she arrives to take him, she discovers he has remarried thinking that his beloved Minty had died. Disappointed, she rounds up 9 other slaves and helps them escape along the same route she had taken a year before. Harriet becomes a conductor on the Underground Railroad and embarks on an endless string of round-trip journeys down to the South, assuming a disguise and the nickname “Moses” and rescues more slaves with each miraculous expedition.
“Even now, you’re mine.” – Gideon Brodess
“I was never yours, Gideon. I was never nobody’s property. Ever since your daddy sold my sisters, I prayed for God to make me strong enough to fight. And that’s what I prayed for ever since. I reasoned that there was one or two things I had a right to. Liberty or death. If I couldn’t have one, I’d have the other.” – Harriet Tubman
“Fear is your enemy. Trust in God. The North Star will guide you. Follow that North Star. If there are no stars, just follow the river. If you can’t see the river, listen for it. When the river split, cross the high bridge over the rushing creek, and head straight north. After a few days time, Delaware River be on your right. Follow that to Wilmington. Look for a blacksmith and iron merchant named Thomas Garrett. I’ll send him word. May God be with you, child.” – Reverend Green
“John and me, we want our babies born free like they supposed to be.” – Harriet Tubman
“Whoa, easy now. Now, I’ve decided not to sell you after all. Fact is, I’d miss you. Now, you been there all my life, like your mama was all my daddy’s. Daddy vowed never to sell your mama. And I’m vowing never to sell you. Now, you can come on back and I won’t hurt you bad. You can stat at home, stay with John, stay with us. Would you like that?” – Gideon Brodess
“I’m going to be free or die.” – Harriet Tubman
“Here we are friend. Pennsylvania border. Shall I drive thee across, or would thee prefer to walk alone into freedom?” – Thomas Garrett
“I walk with the Lord.” – Harriet Tubman
“Well, I don’t know if you know how extraordinary this is, but by some miraculous means, you have made it one hundred miles to freedom, all by yourself. Would you like to pick a new name to mark your freedom? Most ex-slaves do. Any name you want.” – William Still
“They call my mama Rit, but her name Harriet. I want my mama name and my husband. Harriet Tubman.” – Harriet Tubman
I made up my mind, I’m going back. Without my husband and my family, I’m just a stranger in a strange land. If I’m free, they should be too. I’m going to go get them, one by one, starting with my husband.” – Harriet Tubman
“God don’t mean people to own people, Gideon! Our time is near.” – Harriet Tubman
Official Movie Trailer
Cynthia Erivo as Harriet / Minty
Leslie Odom Jr. as William Still
Joe Alwyn as Gideon Brodess
Clarke Peters as Ben Ross
Vanessa Bell Calloway as Rit Ross
Omar J. Dorsey as Bigger Long
Henry Hunter Hall as Walter
Tom Guinee as Thomas Garrett
Nick Basta as Foxx
Joseph Lee Anderson as Robert Ross
Antonio J. Bell as Henry Ross
C.J. McBath as Junyah Ross
Alexis Louder as Jane
Aria Brooks as Anger (8)
Janelle Monae as Maria Buchanon
Zachary Momoh as John Tubman
Vondie Curtis-Hall as Reverend Green
Jennifer Nettles as Eliza Brodess