Emancipation is a 2022 American historical action film directed by Antoine Fuqua and starring Will Smith as an enslaved man in Louisiana in the 1860s who escapes his plantation.
The film, written by William N. Collage, is loosely based on the real-life story of Gordon (named “Peter” in the film), a former slave, and the photographs of his bare back, heavily scourged from an overseer’s whippings, that were published worldwide in 1863, giving the abolitionist movement proof of the cruelty of American slavery. The film also stars Ben Foster and Charmaine Bingwa.
Emancipation had its first screening in Washington, D.C. on October 1, 2022, and was released in select cinemas on December 2, 2022, before its streaming release on December 9, by Apple TV+.
The film received mixed reviews from critics, who praised the cinematography, action scenes and Smith’s performances, but criticized the screenplay, plot and its handling of real-life events.
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