Antebellum is a 2020 American horror film written and directed by Gerard Bush and Christopher Renz. The film stars Janelle Monáe, Eric Lange, Jena Malone, Jack Huston, Kiersey Clemons, and Gabourey Sidibe. Directors Bush and Renz really twisted the typical slave story and made it into a social thriller. Janelle Monáe embodied the true fear for someone living during this time as a slave. Each scene pulled at my heart strings as I felt the fear she felt throughout the entire film.
The film follows Successful author Veronica as she finds herself trapped in a horrifying reality and must uncover the mind-bending mystery before it’s too late. This is a fictional story that hints at what is really going on in our society dealing with race and power. Without telling you the entire story, I was very impressed by the visual social points made in film during the final shots for Janelle Monáe and Jena Malone. The story hints at how we try to pretend that we’ve moved away from racism in this country, when we really haven’t moved the bar much. Racism is an evil demon that destroys everyone in its path. The movie was really good. If you felt afraid at all, then imagine what real slavery was like.
The film is set in a Louisiana plantation during what appears to be the American Civil War from the side of the Confederate Army. Antebellum as a word in our cultural lexicon came back into wider use around the 1950s and 60s — the same time that angry, white Southerners were erecting monuments to “preserve their culture” in a backlash against the Civil Rights movement. I recognized the location of the slave cabins and the big house, because it was filmed at the Evergreen Plantation. We have visited this plantation during our trips to Louisiana. It was a humbling experience to go there, but the heat is so hard to deal with, I just couldn’t be a slave. Imagine bugs biting you, the heat is beating you down, and you’re out there all day picking cotton, sugar cane and tobacco. This film took me on a rollercoaster of emotions. Although this is a fictional story, it could easily become a reality which is why we need to end hatred once and for all in this country