Much has been made of the prominence of a ‘white saviour’ in biographical historical epic Free State of Jones. Is this a film about slavery? Yes. Is it led by a white character? Yes. But to limit the field of vision and intent of director Gary Ross’ latest feature negates other aspects of a film that proposes to treat humanity and inhumanity in a wider sense, and under many different guises. There is no questioning the import of representations of race in film but undue criticism for this constituent part of a broad narrative misses a grasp of the whole. That said, the scope of this project may even be set too wide.
Matthew Anderson | @behind_theseens