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Cast: William Sadler, Sharon Leal, Bernhard Forcher Cuba Gooding Jr.
Two men separated by 100 years are united in their search for freedom. In 1856 a slave, Samuel Woodward and his family, escape from the Monroe Plantation near Richmond, Virginia. A secret network of ordinary people known as the Underground Railroad guide the family on their journey north to Canada. They are relentlessly pursued by the notorious slave hunter Plimpton. Hunted like a dog and haunted by the unthinkable suffering he and his forbears have endured, Samuel is forced to decide between revenge or freedom. 100 years earlier in 1748, John Newton the Captain of a slave trader sails from Africa with a cargo of slaves, bound for America. On board is Samuel's great grandfather whose survival is tied to the fate of Captain Newton. The voyage changes Newton's life forever and he creates a legacy that will inspire Samuel and the lives of millions for generations to come.
I was not sure what to expect from this film before watching it. The trailer peaked my interest a bit but I was not overly excited about the film. The film is based on a true story and it has two separate stories running a long side one another. First is the story of Samuel and his family set in 1856. They escape a plantation and with help from the underground railroad they begin a long and grueling journey to freedom while a hired slave hunter and his two goons stay hot on their trail.
The second story is set in 1748 and it is about John Newton who had the job of bringing slaves over by ship. The stories are tied together by several things. One is both men question their own faith and a little boy on Newton's ship happened to be Samuel's great-grandfather.
Like I said I was not sure about the film, I wondered how both stories would mesh together without making it all a bit confusing but I can say that they both ran seamlessly together making for a story of inspiration, redemption and finding one's faith in God and hope for a better future.
Cuba Gooding Jr. gives a low key performance as Samuel but he is still terrific in the film. The rest of the cast did a great job as well including, William Sadler. Newton's story has a few musical numbers in it that I thought would be a distraction but again I was wrong. I really enjoyed each and every song including Amazing Grace which Newton went on to write.
"Freedom" has gotten the Dove seal of approval but it is rated R due to some violence in the film so keep that in mind. So, in the end I really enjoyed the film a lot more than I expected. Everything about the film including the acting, settings and costumes were all fantastic. I recommend this to anyone who might be looking for a good drama to check out.
Released by ARC Entertainment
**** Out Of *****