Latest NewsMovies NewsTV Series

The Underground Railroad: the true story of the series that you cannot miss

Barry Jenkins’ new series is not just another story of racism, but a fight for survival that changed the world.

After his Oscar for Moonlight , Barry Jenkins is back with The Underground Railroad , a new historical series that takes place during one of the darkest moments in American history, where a group of people decided to fight the system and help each other. themselves, and others, to escape the horrors of slavery.

In recent months we have seen a boom in series with African American stories, where the reality of racism is combined with fantasy and horror, but The Underground Railroad could be the best of them. It is not as fanciful as Lovecraft Country, nor as brutal as Them (which is difficult to see) , rather it is a magical realism portrait of a true story that happened to thousands of people and is important to know.

Based on the eponymous book by Pulitzer Prize- winning Colson Whitehead, the series is a beautifully crafted history lesson, with striking photography that adds even more humanity to its protagonists’ journey.

What happens in The Underground Railroad is brutal, violent and sometimes bloody, it tells us about the damage caused by racism and how that led many to try to escape and do something about it, and the great success of Jenkins is that he presents us with the story as if it were a horror and drama movie that allows us to get involved with its protagonists creating a strong connection between them and the audience.

The Underground Railroad and its true story

Thuso Mbedu , who gives life to Cora , may not have been a real person, but in reality she gives a face to the men and women who were part of something incredible and heroic.

In the series, Cora is a slave who escapes from a plantation in the southern United States. She knows that escape can mean death, but everything is better than what she has suffered, so she decides to go on a journey that eventually takes her to an underground railway that was created to lead other slaves to freedom.

The Underground Railroad existed, but it was not a literal train with tracks below the ground. In the 19th century, slavery was at its peak and thousands of men, women and children suffered all kinds of abuse. In the throes of chaos, a clandestine network of people risking their lives to help others escape to safety was created, sometimes leading them to Canada to escape those who were pursuing them.

The network arose around 1810 and was made up of drivers who were dedicated to guiding slaves and station chiefs, who had the mission of hiding people in their homes while the day on which they could travel was defined. It is estimated that the underground railway network saved around 100,000 lives, providing food, water, money and protection to those who dared to escape, as well as helping them to understand the maps, which they could not understand because they could not read or write.

Whitehead told the BBC that: “The people who helped slaves go north by giving them passage on boats, in the back of their wagons, giving them money, hiding them, helping them cross rivers, and he became known as the Underground Railroad, because people would disappear and the masters would never see them again, and then someone would say, ‘It’s like so and so disappearing on an underground railroad.’

Cora’s story is that of many men and women who inspired the novel, which Barry Jenkins brings to the small screen in a way that we can understand what happened, the trauma and the pain, but also the courage, the strength and the struggle of those who did not allow themselves to be crushed or destroyed by the horrors that were being experienced.

Joel Edgerton , for example, represents through his character Ridgeway the Fugitive Slave Act of 1793, which was what allowed the abuse, mistreatment and even killing of slaves who escaped without a trial, but we also see the true story of a slave who escaped and spent 7 years in hiding, or that of the abolitionist Frederick Douglas . In the end it does not matter if these stories represent a special person, what matters is that it is real and it is impossible to ignore.

If you’re a fan of true stories, this is the show to watch (besides Halston’s ).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *