Movie Review: Harriet, directed by Kasi Lemmons (Four Stars)


Movie Review: Harriet, directed by Kasi Lemmons

(Five Stars)

“God don’t mean for people to own people.”

Outstanding biopic of slave-turned-slave rescuer Harriet Tubman. Well-presented and developed. Extraordinary performance by Cynthia Erivo. Brutally honest about the treatment of slaves and the self-serving hypocrisy of slave owners.

“Find this thief and burn her at the stake like Joan of Arc.”

The reviews are so tepid because Tubman was a Christian; she prayed; God answered her prayers. America’s media mavens could hardly praise anything Christian, least of all a woman of color who took it seriously. Minor continuity errors distracted.

“Harriet, welcome to the Underground Railroad.”

Full disclosure: a friend worked on Harriet. I have no pecuniary interest in his business nor the film.

“I’m going to be free or die.”


Book Review: The Confession of Brother Haluin by Ellis Peters. (Three Stars)


Book Review: The Confession of Brother Haluin (Chronicles of Brother Cadfael #15) by Ellis Peters.

(Three Stars)

“There are some born to do penance by nature. Maybe they lift the load for some of us who take it quite comfortably that we’re mankind, and not angels.”

Another yawner, though it has a pleasing denouement. For a change there’s no love-at-first-seeing young lovers. Love and marriage and power were handled differently then.

“It was too late to exact penance from a dying man, and deathbed comfort cannot be priced, only given freely.”

Pargeter explores the nature of repentance and penance. We moderns are quick to apologize because we don’t mean it; we’re sorry we got caught or were inconvenienced. Medieval society had a different attitude toward sin and repentance. Very different.

“No doubt but that pride is a sin, and unbecoming a Benedictine brother, but not so easily shed with the spurs and titles of nobility.”

Cadfael has the most amazing ability to be at just the right place at just the right time. The way he stumbles over bodies, sometimes literally, he should have been afraid to walk in the dark.

“Truth can be costly, but in the end it never falls short of value for the price paid.”