The Potential of The Free State of Jones

A thoughtful post from Christian McWhirter that expands on my earlier post about the Free State of Jones’s journey from legend, to history, to film.

Civil War Pop

The big story in Hollywood right now is the upcoming seventh Star Wars film. Seemingly everyone (including me) is getting swept away by the hype while silently hoping the movie doesn’t stink. History geeks, however, are equally fired up for The Free State of Jones, starring Matthew McConaughey and based on Victoria Bynum’s excellent book of the same name. Few people are better positioned to comment on the film and its place in pop culture than Bynum herself, and I’d like to draw your attention to this thoughtful and personal blogpost she published last week.

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7 replies »

  1. Hi Vikki,

    I watched the trailer for Free State of Jones. If the rest of the movie is as good as the trailer, as I feel certain it will be, Free State of Jones has the potential to change perceptions in a way that no movie about the Civil War has done since “Glory”. Even though men like Newt Knight were in the minority in the South, they existed, and that gives future generations of white Southerners a hero to look up to as they put away their Confederate flags. Don’t want to go too far with these great expectations, but that could help race relations in the South. Let’s face it: people want heroes, and the story of Rachel and Newt Knight is heroic as they face overwhelming odds in the violent, unforgiving land of the South of that time period.

  2. You are welcome, Vikki. Thank you for your many years of research, and for writing the book! I, like many others, cannot wait to see the movie. I am going to make certain that my nephew sees it, too. He is interested in the Civil War.

  3. Vickie
    Read both books! Now rereading! Powerful work of a time in history almost forgotten! Thanks to you &!Ross for “digging” it out by hard work & perseverance! As a descendant of the Colins of Jones County through my grandmother France’s Collins Loftin I thank you! As far as the Free State of Jones film being overwhelmed by another Star Wars appearance it may receive a more favorable rating at first but the Free State of Jones is going to be watched long after Star Wars has faded into the Galaxy! Your film reveals a long forgotten history of a part of thevSouth some tried to bury with time! Resurrection is near ! Thanks

    Donald Howard Loftin

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