In conjunction with Black History Month, Regal Theaters will offer free screenings of the movie Harriet on Feb. 4 and Feb. 11 at the Regal UA Riverview Plaza IMAX & RPX on Columbus Boulevard. The free screenings take place at 7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. each day. You can find a link here for free tickets.
Harriet chronicles events in the adult life of Harriet Tubman, beginning in 1849, and concentrates on the period when she escaped slavery in Maryland, arrived in Philadelphia, then returned multiple times to rescue more than 70 enslaved people.
The film stars Cynthia Erivo as Tubman, and Philadelphia’s Leslie Odom Jr. as William Still, a key figure in the Underground Railroad in Philadelphia and a man who recorded the personal history of those rescued by Tubman and brought to the city.
The film (shot in Virginia) is directed by Kasi Lemmons, who said Philadelphia played “a huge part” in Tubman’s story. Tubman, as seen in the film, used the city as the base for several dangerous missions back to Maryland to rescue other enslaved people (including members of her own family), even after the 1850 passage of the Fugitive Slave Act made Philadelphia dangerous for free blacks.
Erivo’s performance earned an Academy Award nomination for best actress. Some have criticized the decision to cast an actress who is not an American descendant of slaves (Erivo is British), but Lemmons (Eve’s Bayou) said: “It could not have been a better actor-director relationship. We could not have done more work to try to prepare her, and she could not have been more prepared.”