Beliefnet
Idol Chatter

Four-time Oscar nominee Gary Ross (The Hunger Games, Seabiscuit) presents Free State of Jones, an epic action-drama set during the Civil War that tells the story of defiant Southern farmer Newt Knight and his extraordinary armed rebellion against the confederacy. Based on a true story, Newton Knight was a prominent American figure who did not give up on his beliefs.

Banding together with other small farmers and local slaves, Knight launched an uprising that led Jones County, Mississippi to secede from the Confederacy, creating a Free State of Jones. Knight bravely led his followers to protect Jones county from Confederate authorities under “the Knight Company,” a band of guerrillas. Through several skirmishes, the group of men were able to hold off the Confederacy and evaded capture.

Knight subsequently married a former enslaved woman, Rachel, creating a mixed-race community. His marriage was considered illegal by Mississippi.

Knight continued his struggle into Reconstruction, distinguishing him as compelling, if controversial, figure of defiance long beyond the War. Even today, historians disagree over the true Newton Knight’s motive for his actions. He has been described as a manipulative outlaw and a noble individual by a wide range of historical texts.

Free State of Jones takes a look into the years of struggle and hardship of Newton Knight as he persevered and led the people of Jones county to succession. An often forgotten part of American history, Knight’s story is finally told to the masses.

Free State of Jones stars the Oscar winner Matthew McConaughey as Newt Knight. Rachel Knight is played by Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Serena Knight by Keri Russell, and Moses Washington by Mahershala Ali.

The clip features Newt Knight having a conversation with Moses Washington on the importance of always being free, because no one can “own a child of God.”

The film has been met with some amazing reviews and recommendations.

  • “Riveting! Directed with blunt authority… Free State of Jones explores a neglected and fascinating chapter in American History.” – The New York Times
  • Free State of Jones is an honest and beautifully executed reminder of the price many honorable men and women paid for the right to be free from slavery and economic oppression – a place that American should never return to as we all are united in one nation under God.” – Mar Morial, President of the National Urban League
  • “A powerful and poignant film about war, race, freedom and love – set in the past and present” – Cornell Brooks, President of NAACP
  • “A thrilling film rises from our Civil War buried in myth. Free State of Jones answers Gone with the Wind with truth, guts and freedom.” – Taylor Branch, Pulitzer Prize in History: Parting the Waters. 
  • Free State of Jones promotes a dialogue about what may have been possible more than a century ago – and what is very much possible in our own day… A new look at Reconstruction can help us see how the past can and must inform the present, and Free State of Jones is a rich, dramatic, and valuable lens into that past.” – Steven Hahn, Pulitzer Prize in History: A Nation Under Our Feet

Catch Free State of Jones in select theaters starting June 24th, 2016.

Advertisement

03_HLSG_NCS_1sheet_27x40_PUREFLIX_FINAL_LAYOUT_v5 (1)The Australia-based band, Hillsong UNITED, is releasing their highly anticipated movie Hillsong – Let Hope Rise which features the band’s spectacular and miraculous rise to fame in the Christian community.

Directed by Michael John Warren (Jay Z’s Fade to Black), the film explores Hillsong’s journey from a tiny church in the Sydney suburbs to an influential international ministry whose songs are sung every Sunday by more than 50 million people across the globe. Their songs have been translated into 60 languages and the band has sold more than 17 million albums.

“Anyone who regularly attends a church knows Hillsong’s music by heart. That’s how influential they’ve become,” said producer Jonathan Bock. “And yet despite the fame and adulation, they’re still just a humble worship band trying to do what tens of thousands of other worship bands try to do every week — glorify God through their music. How they balance that is a fascinating and surprising story.”

Hillsong Church’s history will be featured in the film. Hillsong Church now extends to five different continents with more than 100,000 weekly attendees. The church donates to many international organizations committed to ministry that are featured in the film. These inlclude educating children in the slums of India and rescuing human trafficking victims.

Hillsong – Let Hope Rise is so much more than a film about a Christian band or even a church. It is truly a theatrical worship experience,” said Michael Scott, chief production officer and a founding partner of Pure Flix, the distributer of the movie. “It is a dream come true for us, as a studio committed to influencing the global culture, to partner with a church like Hillsong.”

More information on Hillsong – Let Hope Rise will be featured over the next few months. Make sure to catch the movie when it hits theaters in September.

Advertisement

finding-dory-teaser“Finding Dory,” the squeal to the Oscar-winning 2003 film “Finding Nemo,” established a new record for an animated film opening by bringing in $136.2 million during it’s opening weekend.

The success of the film from Pixar animation studios is no surprise. Pixar’s parent company, Disney, has dominated the movie business. Disney currently has the top three highest-grossing movies of 2016. “Finding Dory” easily swam right past the previous record holder, “Shrek the Third,” which grossed $121.6 million in 2007.

Going into the weekend, analysts expected the movie to draw in big numbers. However, they had estimated it would be much lower at around $100 million. The movie also brought in $50 million internationally.

“Finding Dory” is also the second-largest June opening movie of all time, with “Jurassic World” at the number one spot.

“Finding Dory” centers on a blue tang fish was short term memory loss (Ellen DeGeneres) and her quest to be reunited with her long-lost parents. The sequal comes out 13 years after “Finding Nemo,” and has a combination of old and new beloved characters.

The film was highly anticipated by families, teens and adults because of the strong affection for the original film. The movie has also received fantastic reviews over the past few months..

“That’s really a testament to this being a picture for everyone — not just for families,” Dave Hollis, Disney Executive Vice President of Distribution, stated in an  interview.

Catch “Finding Dory” in theaters across the nation.

 

Advertisement

CaptureThe 2016 Tony Awards, held at New York’s Beacon Theatre, opened with a touching tribute to Sunday’s mass shooting in Orlando. Host Jame Corden dedicated the award show to the victims of the shooting.

“Our hearts go out to all of those affected by this atrocity,” said Corden. “All we can say is you are not on your own right now. Your tragedy is our tragedy. Theater is a place where every race, creed sexuality and gender is equal, is embraced and is loved. Hate will never win. Together we have to make sure of that.”

While it was clear there was a darkness looming over the nation, the Tony Awards brought perseverance. It largely stuck to it’s script filled with laughs and plenty of music.

Leading up to the big night, the buzz had been all about Hamilton, a hip hop musical about Alexander Hamilton that had received a record 16 nominations. The show walked away with 11 awards, falling just shy of the record haul.

The iconic Barbra Streisand made her first Tony appearance in 46 years by presenting the coveted best musical award to Hamilton creator Lin-Manuel Miranda.

Other wins for Hamilton included Leading Actor in a Musical (Leslie Odom), Best Direction of a Musical (Thomas Kail), Featured Actor in a Musical (Daveed Diggs), Featured Actress in a Musical (Renee Elise Goldsberry), and Best Choreography (Andy Blankenbuehler).

Other notable winners included Stephen Karam’s The Humans for Best Play. A View From the Bridge won Best Revival of a Play, while The Color Purple took the Tony for Best Revival of a Musical.

Previous Posts