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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.

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