Filming began in August 2019 in Savannah, Georgia, and production lasted 116 days before concluding on September 22, 2020.
Is there a TV show about the Underground Railroad?
- Underground (TV series) From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Underground is an American television period drama series created by Misha Green and Joe Pokaski about the Underground Railroad in Antebellum Georgia. The show debuted March 9, 2016, on WGN America.
Why did underground get Cancelled?
The cancellation came after the network’s parent company Tribune Media was attempted to be purchased by conservative corporation Sinclair Broadcasting Group, which led to speculation that the latter did not approve of the subject matter of the show.
Will there be Season 2 of Underground Railroad?
The Underground Railroad Season 2 won’t come in 2021 Whether the series is renewed or not, we’ve got some bad news when it comes to the release date. The Underground Railroad Season 2 won’t come in 2021.
When did The Underground Railroad end?
End of the Line The Underground Railroad ceased operations about 1863, during the Civil War. In reality, its work moved aboveground as part of the Union effort against the Confederacy.
Is Underground Railroad a limited series?
The 10-episode limited series debuted on Prime Video on May 14. “Underground Railroad,” the new limited series from Oscar-winning director Barry Jenkins, arrived on Amazon Prime on Friday.
Did own pick up Underground?
OWN NetworkOWN has announced it has picked up the critically acclaimed historical drama series Underground. The series, which aired for two seasons on WGN America, is set to rebroadcast on OWN starting January 5 at 9 p.m. ET. “It’s not cheap, I think because it’s a period piece.”
Is Underground a true story?
Underground’s stars say the same. So while Underground is not based on any specific real people, it proves that you can still be very faithful to history without following the events of a single person’s life.
Is there a season 2 of Carnival Row?
Carnival Row is one of those shows that was faced with a delay. It’s not all too surprising to find out that Carnival Row Season 2 isn’t coming in December 2021, but that doesn’t mean we’re not disappointed. We had hoped for a Christmas miracle, but that’s not the case.
What happened at the end of the Underground Railroad book?
Eventually, the farm is burned and many people, including Royal, are killed in a raid by white Hoosiers.
How many chapters are in the Underground Railroad series?
Based on the 2016 Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by Colson Whitehead, “The Underground Railroad” is a story divided into ten chapters, but not in a traditional episodic manner.
Does the Underground Railroad still exist?
It includes four buildings, two of which were used by Harriet Tubman. Ashtabula County had over thirty known Underground Railroad stations, or safehouses, and many more conductors. Nearly two-thirds of those sites still stand today.
What year is the Underground Railroad set in?
The Underground Railroad takes place around 1850, the year of the Fugitive Slave Act’s passage. It makes explicit mention of the draconian legislation, which sought to ensnare runaways who’d settled in free states and inflict harsh punishments on those who assisted escapees.
How long did the Underground Railroad take to travel?
The journey would take him 800 miles and six weeks, on a route winding through Maryland, Pennsylvania and New York, tracing the byways that fugitive slaves took to Canada and freedom.
Is Amazon’s Underground Railroad historically accurate?
Whilst the novel and the series isn’t entirely based on a true story, the network itself was very much a real thing and helped hundreds of thousands of slaves escape.
What happened to Grace on The Underground Railroad?
In the book, Cora is alone up there for seven months. In the show, she has a younger runaway slave named Grace to “guide” her. She doesn’t appear in the book and for three whole episodes of The Underground Railroad, we are led believe she died in the flames that consumed the Wells house.
How long are The Underground Railroad episodes?
Watching Jenkins unleash his potent and profound film allegory in 10 episodes varying in length from 20 minutes to an hour is also really scary, possessed as it is of a sorrowful poetry that speaks urgently to an uncertain future. With this flat-out masterpiece, Jenkins has raised series television to the level of art.
‘The Underground Railroad’: Everything You Need to Know About Barry Jenkins’ Amazon Series
There is still a long way to go until we see ” The Underground Railroad,” the first television series from famous filmmakerBarry Jenkins (“Moonlight”) is released, but fresh information about the highly-anticipated project is beginning to emerge. In addition to being an adaptation of Colson Whitehead’s 2017 Pulitzer Prize-winning novel of the same name, “The Underground Railroad” will also debut on Amazon Prime Video in the near future. Whitehead’s novel was set in an alternate timeline in which the Underground Train of the nineteenth century was an actual railroad that American slaves used to abandon the South and find freedom in the North.
Following Cora’s escape from her Georgia farm in search of the supposed Underground Railroad, she learns that it is more than a metaphor; it is a real railroad complete with engineers and conductors and a secret network of lines and tunnels beneath the Southern soil.” Mbedu (“Is’thunzi”) co-stars in the series with Chase W.
The premiere of “The Underground Railroad” will take place on May 14.
According to an April interview with IndieWire, Jenkins stated that working on the series was one of the most difficult undertakings of his career.
- Aside from the show’s announcement in 2016, Jenkins has been teasing parts of the project throughout the previous few months, however few specifics have been revealed about it in the years since then.
- Amazon confirmed the show’s launch date on February 25 with the release of a teaser trailer, which can be watched below.
- The show’s director tweeted a link to a new teaser trailer, which, while without any fresh story elements, more than makes up for what is lacking with a slew of dramatic images and musical accompaniment.
- As Sojourner Truth said,’speak upon the ashes,’ it feels like a good time to tell a little bit about ourselves.
- Jenkins spoke with IndieWire about the aesthetic of the film, which unfolds entirely in reverse motion, in another teaser that was published in January.
- Britell was able to accomplish his desires, and he sat with the piece for almost two months before having an epiphany about it.
- ‘Here’s a song,’ I remarked to Daniel Morfesis, who had edited this piece, as I was practically walking out of the office on a Friday.
And the catch is that those images must narratively convey the same amount of information in backward as they do in forward motion.’ As a result, it was born out of my personal emotional reaction to producing the program.” You can see the trailer here: On May 7, the music website IndieWire premiered a tune from composer Nicholas Britell’s score for the film.
In our eyes, the orchestra was transformed into a tool for creating a specific tone.
We recorded it at AIR Studios in London, which was a great experience.
If and when further information regarding the project becomes available, it will be added to this site.
Tambay Obenson contributed to this story with additional reporting and analysis. Sign up here: Keep up with the most recent breaking film and television news! Subscribe to our email newsletters by filling out this form.
The Underground Railroad
- Drama, historical fiction
- Broadcast network: AMZONOV
- Premiere date: May 14, 2021
- Executive producers:
NewsInterviews for The Underground Railroad: Limited Series
- 24th of December, 2021 It was not at all what I had anticipated. I was astounded by the cruelty, which made it difficult to watch at times. The music, as well as the film, had an eerie atmosphere. Very beautifully done, indeed. I had a great time with it and was cheering for Cora to get it out alive
- 15th of December, 2021 Like the book, it was a revelation, but it was also an object of immense beauty in and of itself
- 21st of September, 2021 “You cannot/should not binge watch Underground Railroad,” warned the director, Barry Jenkins, and he was absolutely correct. When I attempted to binge watch this show, I was tormented in my nightmares. Although it’s difficult to describe the atrocities shown in Underground as beautiful, the limited series was very well-shot. After seeing episode 10, I was left feeling dejected since I expected Cora to finally reach her promised land. I understand that Mr. Jenkins has given us a masterpiece
- August 19, 2021
- So it’s good, and I understand that it’s intended to be unpleasant, but it’s so dark that it’s a little difficult to walk about. On the contrary, it is not bingeworthy because it requires a big pause after each episode
- July 26, 2021 Beautifully photographed and strongly performed. The Underground Railroad is a challenging but necessary watch since it depicts America’s evil side, and it is the next masterpiece from creator Barry Jenkins, which will be released on July 22, 2021. Make no effort to think about it too much, and it will pass quickly. 16th of July, 2021I am completely baffled by this series. I just can’t seem to absorb what is being said. The ideas are so vast and overwhelming that I am unable to offer even a passing comment, which is a comment in and of itself. Because they are not realistic circumstances, I doubt the motivation behind their construction. Has the author made the implication that fiction may be worse than the truth? The truth is already a terrible thing. I believe it will linger in my mind for some time. This is something I’ll have to think about
- 10th of July, 2021 How did one of the finest books to come out in the previous two decades end up being converted into this uninteresting dog of a television series? 06th of July, 2021 OMG, this program is terrible. It’s completely unwatchable. I was looking forward to reading a narrative about the Underground Railroad that was relatively true. This is an extremely intriguing and understudied period of our history. Instead, the event is used as a platform to advance someone’s political goal, such as those who believe the subterranean railroad was actually a type of subway system. The date is July 02, 2021. All of these are just stunning. anything that happens behind the scenes Congratulations to everyone who has contributed to make this series worthwhile to watch. The tormented are really horrible in their treatment. This vile enslavement practice ripped apart so many lives during those dark days, and it hurt my heart to witness it. their spirit may find eternal rest.
“The Underground Railroad” by Barry Jenkins is much more than a history lesson; it is a genuinely important achievement that will be studied and pondered for years to come. It avoids the pitfalls of historical plays in surprising ways, blending beautiful sections of magical realism with stark reminders of the scars inflicted by the history of slavery to create a compelling and moving whole. It is horrifying, beautiful, emotional, and terrifying all at the same time, and it manages to be both deeply honest and lyrical at the same time.
- ” If Beale Street Could Talk,” he has taken on his most demanding production to date and created a huge event in the history of television.
- “The Underground Railroad,” which is based on the 2016 Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by Colson Whitehead, is a tale broken into 10 parts, although not in the typical episodic fashion.
- When it comes to Jenkins’ ambition, the structure of “The Underground Railroad” speaks volumes.
- Having said that, I would not recommend that people binge watch this series over the course of a weekend and believe that Amazon would have been better served by releasing episodes weekly, enabling each episode to be absorbed in a manner that binge watching does not.
It tells the story of Cora (Thuso Mbedu), a slave who escapes from her Georgia plantation with another slave named Caesar (Aaron Pierre) in the mid-1800s and eventually finds her way to the Underground Railroad, which is reimagined as an actual rail system complete with conductors, engineers, and trains in “The Underground Railroad.” After hearing that she will see America through the train window in the premiere, Cora’s journey through America is somewhat fulfilled by the series’ arc, which takes her across the country, first to a community that appears safer but harbors dark secrets, and then through the heartland of the country in a way that forces her to confront her past and future.
- “The Underground Railroad” is more than a simple chase narrative, as it follows her as she flees from a ruthless slave catcher named Ridgeway (Joel Edgerton).
- Every performance in “The Underground Railroad” resonates, but Mbedu is the one who is supposed to carry the majority of the production, and she does so admirably.
- It was a wise choice to put newbies in the roles.
- That hasn’t altered in any way.
- The project’s success is dependent on the collaboration of Jenkins with his usual composerNicholas Britell and cinematographerJames Laxton, both of whom are important to the success of this project, which also features one of the finest sound designs in the history of television.
- Cora continuously challenges her independence and what that word really means at this point in American history, prompting the composer to use recurring motifs to his advantage (or what it means now, for that matter).
On the visual side, Jenkins and Laxton frequently use natural light sources such as candles or lanterns (and appeared to have discovered the “magic hour” on nearly every day of the shoot), and his camera brings these unforgettable faces to life as it gently moves back and forth—the production is sparsely edited, which adds to its mesmerizing power.
In doing so, he demonstrates an incredible empathy for the human condition that elevates his work to an entirely new level, never losing sight of Cora, Caesar, or even Ridgeway as individuals, even against a backdrop that could have allowed them to be reduced to mere devices in a larger picture or symbols for the hateful past of this nation.
- In the process, a history of suppression is transformed into an artistic undertaking that is ultimately about expression.
- It is now up to you to pay attention.
- It is a non-narrative companion piece that may be viewed before or after the film—I recommend seeing it after, but it can be used as an overture or an epilogue, depending on your preference.
- There is no narrative presented.
. there were moments when, when standing in the places where our ancestors had stood, we got the sensation of seeing them, actually seeing them, and it was our goal to record and share that sight with you.” The entire series was evaluated for consideration. Now available on Amazon Prime.
Besides being the Editor of RogerEbert.com, Brian Tallerico also covers television, cinema and video games (including Blu-ray and video games). He also writes for publications such as Vulture, The Playlist, The New York Times, and Rolling Stone, and he serves as President of the Chicago Film Critics Association (CFCA).
The Underground Railroad (2021)
NR600 minutes is a rating. around 5 hours ago around 5 hours ago 3 days have passed since 3 days have passed since
The Underground Railroad is a towering series about the ways slavery still infects America
It is unavoidably difficult for a white critic such as me to examine a work of art that is explicitly about the Black experience in America. There is a danger of coming across as condescending at best and appropriative at worst when attempting to equate the pain, trauma, and terror that often falls on Black Americans to the personal sorrows that white viewers may experience in their everyday lives, as is the case with this film. It is conceivable and even desirable for white audiences to discover personal connection in the lives of protagonists in films like as Do the Right Thing or12 Years a Slave because great art weaves universal stories out of unique realities.
- Despite the fact that I have a terrible background, I do not live under the same crushing weight of centuries of slavery and institutional racism as so many others have.
- Both Do the Right Thing and 12 Years a Slave are excellent films, but both urge us to look unflinchingly at the horrendous ways in which America abuses its Black residents.
- As a result, I’d want to proceed with caution when evaluating The Underground Railroad, a 10-episode television version of Colson Whitehead’s National Book Award- and Pulitzer Prize-winning novel of the same name.
- In no way should it be lauded as a narrative in which anybody can identify with the characters.
- Things about my own life and personal anguish were brought to the surface by The Underground Railroad, but I never lost sight of the fact that, while I could identify with portions of this tale, it was not my own.
Jenkins acknowledges that this is a narrative about humanity, and he allows you the opportunity to discover yourself in it without detracting from the story’s central theme – even if you don’t like what you see.
For an adaptation of a great novel by an acclaimed filmmaker,The Underground Railroadsure acts like a TV show. Good.
Ridgeway, played by Joel Edgerton, is a slave catcher who is relentlessly on Cora’s trail, until he is killed by her. Atsushi Nishijima/Amazon Studios is the photographer. When a brilliant filmmaker creates a television program, he or she is all too frequently content to merely extend their usual storytelling approach across a longer period of time than they would otherwise. A reason why Drivedirector Nicolas Winding Refn’s 10-episode Amazon seriesToo Old to Die Youngdidn’t make much of a splash when it premiered in the summer of 2019, despite the fact that it was directed by one of the most exciting young directors working today: The whole thing moved at the speed of molasses.
- This difficulty is mostly eliminated because to the Underground Railroad.
- Cora goes from place to place via an actual subterranean railroad — complete with train and everything — in an attempt to determine exactly what is wrong with each new locale she encounters.
- It’s not like Whitehead sits you down and says, “The South Carolina portion is all about the promise and final withering away of Reconstruction,” and the South Carolina chapter (the second episode of the series) is about much more than that.
- Whitehead’s concept is tied together by the following: In the series, Cora is being relentlessly chased by a slave catcher named Ridgeway (played by Joel Edgerton), who is determined to pull her back into slavery despite the fact that she is sort of going forward in time.
It is always possible for the country’s racist past to be linked to its racist present, and Whitehead’s use of Ridgeway is a far more compelling exploration of this idea than any big, heartbreaking speech Cora could give on the subject (although several of the series’ characters deliver some incredible speeches).
Each episode of the series may reasonably easily be read as a stand-alone story, with casual viewers having just the most rudimentary comprehension of the main characters and their position at the time of viewing.
They were also included in the novel, but Jenkins and his colleagues have made them a significant part of the overall experience by focusing on them as palate cleansers.
For example, the camera may zoom in for a God’s-eye view of a burning hamlet, or an episode might progress mostly without speaking until it reaches a long, gloriously talky sequence near the conclusion.
However, binge-watching The Underground Railroadwould run the risk of reducing it to the level of a pulp thriller — typically, the best shows to watch in a marathon have clearly defined episodic stories that connect up into longer, serialized stories — but binge-watching this series would run the risk of reducing it to the level of a pulp thriller.
- For comparison, Steve McQueen’s 2020 anthology series Small Axe is similar in that it introduces new people in each episode, although The Underground Railroad does not.
- The first episode has some graphic depictions of slavery, but it picks and selects which pictures to include.
- Despite making it plain that no one should ever see what is going to be seen, the sequence’s build helps the spectator to mentally prepare themselves for what they’re about to witness.
- When these tropes are in the hands of others, they might feel stale.
- The slave, a guy we’ve scarcely known up to this point, keeps his humanity at the same time as people who aren’t especially disturbed by what’s going on retain their humanity in a different sense, thanks to the efforts of the Master.
- The sound design for The Underground Railroad is likewise deserving of particular mention.
- For example, when we hear a door swinging on its rusted hinges or a blacksmith pounding away in his shop, we hear that sound a little louder in the soundtrack than we would if we were in the same setting in real life.
While Cora is standing in an apparently deserted building, the sound of a chain jangling somewhere in the background quietly disturbs her, recalling the shackles that were placed on slaves in the first episode.
TheUnderground Railroadtells a universal story about moving through PTSD — but it is still a very specific version of PTSD
Cora finds herself in several really dark situations, both physically and metaphorically. Image courtesy of Kyle Kaplan/Amazon Studios In contemplating The Underground Railroad’s frequent use of metallic sounds, I began to get why I found the series so compelling, for reasons other than its tale and storytelling. Cora’s journey struck a chord with me because it mirrored my own recent experiences of attempting to fight my identity away from a history that was threatening to swallow it whole. My whole adult existence has felt like a process of peeling back layers of rotten, awful stuff, some of which was placed upon me at my conception.
- However, this is where the conundrum I described at the outset of this review comes into effect.
- After all, we’ve all experienced discomfort at some time in our lives, right?
- (At least, that’s how this type of critical argument works.) It is also feasible to go in the other direction.
- For example, John Singleton’s 1991 classicBoyz n the Hood is an incredibly well-made coming-of-age drama set in the South Central Los Angeles neighborhood of Boyz n the Hood.
- Singleton had little influence over how Boyz n the Hood would be accepted into mainstream society once it had begun to spread.
- In this way, watching the correct movies might be seen as a form of gradual self-vindication: I am vicariously feeling the sorrow of others, and that makes me a decent person.
Take note of how frequently he places the process of perceiving brutalities, both vast and commonplace, at the core of his argument: A scenario in which a white audience watches a whipping, for example, lingers on both the white audience and the Black audience for such flogging, watching how the white spectators treat the show as if it were nothing more than window decorating for an afternoon picnic.
- The unusual temporal dilation of Whitehead’s work also serves to keep the series from having a distancing impact on the reader.
- Upon leaving the plantation, Cora travels through a number of other worlds, many of which bear unnerving resemblances to the current day in ways that disturb viewers who would be inclined to dismiss these stories as being set in the distant past.
- Despite our numerous and obvious differences, I recognized myself in Cora.
- I, too, wish to let go of my past, but I’ve found it to be more difficult than I had anticipated.
- That is an excellent forecast.
- Then, just when it seems like you’ve become comfortable with your reading of The Underground Railroad—or with any reading, for that matter—Jenkins will clip in pictures of the various Black characters from throughout the series, each of whom is looking gravely into the camera.
- We identify with the characters in the stories we read or watch.
- However, as you are watching what happens to these individuals, they are gazing straight back at you, via the camera, across the chasms of time that separate you from them.
And what do they notice when they take a glance behind them? The Underground Railroadwill premiere on Amazon Prime Video on Friday, May 14th. It is divided into ten episodes with running times ranging from 20 minutes to 77 minutes. Yes, this is true. Believe me when I say that it works.
The Underground Railroad review: A remarkable American epic
The Underground Railroad is a wonderful American epic, and this is my review of it. (Photo courtesy of Amazon Prime) Recently, a number of television shows have been produced that reflect the experience of slavery. Caryn James says that this gorgeous, harrowing adaptation of Colson Whitehead’s novel, nevertheless, stands out from the crowd. T The visible and the invisible, truth and imagination, all come together in this magnificent and harrowing series from filmmaker Barry Jenkins to create something really unforgettable.
- Jenkins uses his own manner to pick out and emphasize both the book’s brutal physical realism and its inventiveness, which he shapes in his own way.
- In the course of her escape from servitude on a Georgia plantation, the main heroine, Cora, makes various stops along the railroad’s path, all the while being chased relentlessly by a slavecatcher called Ridgeway.
- More along the lines of: eight new television series to watch in May–the greatest new television shows to watch in 2021 thus far– Mare of Easttown is a fantastic thriller, according to our evaluation.
- Jenkins uses this chapter to establish Cora’s universe before taking the story in a more fanciful path.
- The scenes of slaves being beaten, hung, and burned throughout the series are all the more striking since they are utilized so sparingly throughout the series.
- (Image courtesy of Amazon Prime) Eventually, Cora and her buddy Caesar are forced to escape the property (Aaron Pierre).
- Ridgeway (Joel Edgerton, in another of his quietly intense performances) is determined to find Cora because Reading about a true subterranean railroad is one thing; but, witnessing it on television brings the concept one step closer to becoming a tangible reality.
It’s not much more than a dark tunnel and a handcar at one of the stops.
In South Carolina, she makes her first stop in a bright, urbane town where a group of white people educate and support the destinies of black people.
Cora is dressed in a fitted yellow dress and cap, attends classes in a classroom, and waltzes with Caesar at a dance in the town square, which is lit by lanterns at night.
She plays the part of a cotton picker, which she recently played in real life, and is on show behind glass.
Every one of Cora’s moves toward liberation is met with a painful setback, and Mbedu forcefully expresses her rising will to keep pushing forward toward the future in every scene she appears in.
The imaginative components, like the environment, represent her hopes and concerns in the same way.
Jenkins regularly depicts persons standing frozen in front of the camera, their gaze fixed on us, which is one of the most effective lyrical touches.
Even if they are no longer physically present in Cora’s reality, they are nonetheless significant and alive with importance.
Jenkins, on the other hand, occasionally deviates from the traditional, plot-driven miniseries format.
Ridgeway is multifaceted and ruthless, never sympathetic but always more than a stereotypical villain, thanks to Edgerton’s performance.
The youngster is completely dedicated to Ridgeway, who is not officially his owner, but whose ideals have captured the boy’s imagination and seduced him.
Some white characters quote passages from the Bible, claiming that religion is a justification for slavery.
Nothing can be boiled down to a few words.
The cinematographer James Laxton and the composer Nicholas Britell, both of whom collaborated on Moonlight and Beale Street, were among the key colleagues he brought with him to the project.
Despite the fact that he is excessively devoted to the beauty of backlight streaming through doors, the tragedy of the narrative is not mitigated by the beauty of his photos.
An ominous howling noise can be heard in the background, as though a horrible wind is coming into Cora’s life.
Slavery is sometimes referred to as “America’s original sin,” with its legacy of injustice and racial divide continuing to this day, a theme that is well conveyed in this series.
Its scars will remain visible forever.” ★★★★★ The Underground Railroad will be available on Amazon Prime Video starting on May 14th in other countries.
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The Underground Railroad — TV Episode Recaps & News
- Close reading for the awards season After being confronted with a gloomy stare, the Emmys walked away. It was difficult to discern works that approached Black tales as three-dimensional portraits rather than brutal, thematic hammers in this year’s nominees
- Viewing guide What to Watch on Netflix This Fourth of July Weekend We have some choices for thematically relevant movies and television shows to watch after the grill has been turned off and before the fireworks light up the night sky
- A long conversation is in order. Barry Jenkins used his senses to navigate his way along the Underground Railroad. A reflection on the intuition and instinct that molded his most ambitious picture to date
- Behind the seams is a look at the filmmaker’s creative process. Mapping Itinerary of the Underground Railroad’s Monumental Costuming Expedition As a collection of “hundreds or thousands” of items of clothing, the miniseries’s wardrobe is designed to reflect and mirror the story’s progression across space and time. evaluation of television
- Awp conference This is Colson Whitehead’s feisty and hilarious primer on life and chicken. There are several lessons to be learned from the Pulitzer Prize-winning author’s keynote speech at the American Writers and Illustrators conference
- The 2019 Golden Globes nominations are announced. You Nerds, make a science fiction film for Barry Jenkins! “I believe that I now wish to develop aesthetically. I’d want to direct a science fiction picture. Denis Villeneuve’s films are among my favorites.”
- Vulture as the main character In an Interview with Colson Whitehead. The author of The Underground Railroad discusses Oprah’s praise, avoiding clichés in the “Southern Novel of Black Misery,” and whether or not being mature means never needing to be humorous again.
Making a TV show about slavery is enough to undo you. Ask Barry Jenkins
Barry Jenkins clearly recalls the moment he learned about the Underground Railroad for the very first time. The first time he heard such words, he was probably 5 or 6, and he recalls how it was “unimaginable” to him: “IsawBlack people riding trains that were underground.” He worked as a longshoreman and would always arrive at the port with his hard hat and tool belt on his back. Someone like him, I believed, was responsible for the construction of the Underground Railroad. “It was a great sensation since it was only about Black people and the concept of constructing things.” It would later become clear to the child that the name “Underground Railroad” was actually a slang word for a network of safe homes and passageways that slaves used to flee their tyrannical owners in the antebellum South.
This year’s highly anticipated “The Underground Railroad,” an Amazon limited series based on Colson Whitehead’s Pulitzer Prize-winning historical novel about a runway slave named Cora (Thuso Mbedu) and her desperate, often hellish quest for freedom as she flees the shackles of bondage, will bring Jenkins’ childhood vision of the railroad full circle.
- The author serves as an executive producer on the adaptation, which will debut on the streaming service on Friday, April 12.
- He was nominated for an Academy Award for best director for his work on the 2016 homosexual coming-of-age film, which went on to win the award for best picture.
- However, while Jenkins is clearly pleased with his accomplishment, he is also aware that “The Underground Railroad” represents the greatest risk of his professional life.
- Specifically, the filmmaker predicts that Black viewers, in particular, would have a more intense emotional response to the distressing content than other audiences.
- “That’s not what it’s about,” he remarked in an interview done through video conference from his home, during which he was both animated and softly reflective.
- For the past 41 and a half years, this has been my life’s work.
- I’m not sure how to digest what I’ve just heard.
This is not the case in this instance.
‘That duty, that weight, it’s still on my shoulders.’ (Image courtesy of Atsushi Nishijima/Amazon Prime Video) Jenkins considers the project to be his destiny on the one hand.
Then I realized that I had to do it.” In addition, he was able to witness the practical manifestation of his early idea with the construction of an underground set at the Georgia State Railroad Museum in Savannah, Georgia.
“It needs to be authentic.
In order for the players to walk into the tunnel and touch the rails, they must be able to get down on their knees and touch the walls.
It would have been a mind-boggling experience.
The series is the latest in a long line of notable ventures that have combined America’s horrendous history of racial relations with elements of popular culture to great effect.
Black viewers have condemned the films “Them” and “Two Distant Strangers” in particular, labeling the painful imagery as “Black trauma porn” (trauma for black people).
There is a good chance that the premiere episode of “The Underground Railroad” will add additional gasoline to the fire.
Jenkins claims that black viewers had already expressed their opinions many weeks before the broadcast.
“Do we require any further photographs of this?” the query posed.
(Image courtesy of Kyle Kaplan/Amazon Studios) From the beginning, he was warned that he was about to walk into a minefield.
“However, I do not believe that the country will ever be prepared to look at photos from this period.” Despite this, all you’ve heard for the past four years has been the slogan ‘Make America Great Again.’ At least some of what America has done, particularly when it comes to individuals who look like me, has to be a result of wilful ignorance or erasure on their side.
To discover Jenkins’ genuine goal, audiences are encouraged to look past the scenes of brutality and recognize his underlying motivation: to shine a light on the victory of slaves rather than on their traumatic experiences.
“It’s the only reason someone like me is here today, and nothing else.” “If I am able to take these photographs and put them back into their original context, it makes the portrayal of the images worthwhile.” He mentioned the prominent role played by children in Whitehead’s work, and he stated that he intended to replicate that presence in the series.
- However, there is a great deal that has to do with parenting as well.
- As a result, youngsters are constantly present in our presentation.
- The NAACP and the journal were founded by W.E.B.
- “I came to the realization that this was one of the most amazing acts of collective parenting the world has ever witnessed.” They were there to safeguard the youngsters.
- We hear that Black families have always been divided and that Black dads have always been gone from their children’s lives, and this is true.
- (Image courtesy of Amazon Studios’ Atsushi Nishijima) Kim Whyte, a mental health counselor located in Georgia, was brought on board to help him create a safe and open setting for dealing with the challenging and often visceral subject matter.
According to Jenkins, Whyte’s involvement was not intentional: “I didn’t want these pictures to unravel us, even while we were unpacking them.” Whyte expressed gratitude to Jenkins for the confidence he placed in her, saying, “I couldn’t find a model before me in terms of being a mental health counselor on a set.” I was able to engage with everyone on the set because to Barry’s generosity.
- His permission to connect with them after takes and in between takes was very appreciated.” ‘It was eye-opening,’ she described her experience.
- However, they all had lives of their own.
- The material, on the other hand, was causing people to respond.
- “It’s a stain on humanity that we all share,” Whyte explained.
- ‘This character does not sit well with me.’ It was necessary for them to unravel the emotions that they were required to express at times.
- As we went through it, I told her, ‘Yes, you have every right to be unhappy about this,’ she said.
- ‘And you are a human being.’ They needed to realize that it wasn’t their own rage.
What To Expect From Amazon’s New Series “The Underground Railroad”
Featured image courtesy of Amazon Studios. Warning: There will be descriptions of violence and light spoilers in this section. In the case of Amazon Prime’s newest drama, The Underground Railroad, individuals who are familiar with the mythical slavery escape mechanism that has been recalled throughout history are completely mistaken. Based on the 2016 novel by Colson Whitehead and directed by Oscar-winning director Barry Jenkins, this 10-episode limited series transports viewers to an alternate reality in which abolitionist Harriet Tubman was not the person responsible for leading slaves seeking freedom to safety points along specific routes while on foot.
Although The Underground Railroad is a retelling of the well-known American slavery and slave trade tale, the film does not gloss over the horrors that occurred during that time period.
In the face of repeated attempts by a fellow slave called Caesar Garner (Aaron Pierre) to persuade her to accompany him on an escape, she resists, claiming that the plantation is where she belongs.
But what follows is a gory, but historically accurate portrayal of the American slave trade as it existed in the nineteenth century, which is carried out in part by slave catcher Arnold Ridgeway (Joel Edgerton) and his helper Homer (Chase W.
In its representation of slavery-era brutality, The Underground Railroad is unafraid to be graphic, as seen by the opening 35 minutes of the series.
Huge Anthony’s flesh is bloodily torn open by whips, and his body is set flame in close-up images.
Cora’s journey never fails to serve as a constant reminder that slavery, in its most basic form, is fundamentally brutal.
Beyond the physical suffering that individuals who are enslaved experience, slavery is laced with violence on an unprecedented scale.
Even the pro-slavery Southerners who appear to gain from the existence of slaves are laying the groundwork for the long-term prejudice that has reverberated throughout history and continues to affect society and the African-American community today, according to historians.
Cora’s trip on the Underground Railroad brings home that truth, making it a fact viewers will never forget as they encounter her allies and adversaries along the way.
Amazon Prime has made all ten episodes of The Underground Railroad available for streaming.