The Free State of Jones: Louis Proyect reviews movie

Here’s a reviewer who appreciated the message of both the movie, Free State of Jones, and my book of the same name. Throw in his analysis of the 1848 movie, Tap Roots, and the novel that inspired it, and you’ve got an interesting read, to say the least.

Louis Proyect: The Unrepentant Marxist

Like last year’s “Trumbo”, “The Free State of Jones” is guaranteed to earn my vote for best film of 2016 for its combination of film-making genius and political commitment. If “Trumbo” might have been a success with someone other than Bryan Cranston in the title role, it was his presence that made you feel like you were watching the legendary screenwriter himself rather than an actor. Matthew McConaughey elevates “The Free State of Jones” in the same way. Present in every scene, he is utterly convincing as the anti-secessionist guerrilla leader who was the walking embodiment of what Noel Ignatiev called the Race Traitor.

Written and directed by Gary Ross, “The Free State of Jones” is everything that the overhyped “12 Years a Slave” and “Django Unchained” were not. It is an honest attempt to engage with the historical period it portrays even if it takes liberties with the events…

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3 replies »

  1. While awaiting the release of “Free State,” its YouTube trailer led me to “Tap Roots.” (Classic movie it’s not!) Aside from the fact that the only character brandishing a whip on the Knight Plantation is Boris Karloff’s Indian Chief, the only entertainment value came from seeing mountains rise above the Piney Woods. Apparently, Divine displeasure at secession was expressed in a catastrophic seismic event!


    • Yes, he did—thank you! Just posted it on Twitter and Facebook. Will include this link on the FSOJ reviews page as well.



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