‘Antebellum’ movie review

Kyle McGovern, Reporter

“Antebellum” is a thriller-horror film that follows a modern African-American woman who finds herself on a southern plantation in Louisiana set in the past during the American Civil War. The film features Janelle Monáe, Eric Lange, Jena Malone, Jack Huston, Kiersey Clemons, and Gabourey Sidibe.

 “Antebellum” was released in theaters on Sept. 18, 2020, and distributed by Lionsgate Films on a $10 million budget. “Antebellum” will likely leave many viewers, who aren’t entirely familiar with American history, asking themselves, “What does the word actually mean?” Antebellum means “before the war.”

 Courtesy of IMDb.

The beginning of the film starts with William Faulkner’s quote, “The past is never dead. It’s not even past.”  The Louisiana plantation, Confederate soldiers, and slaves are the first couple of realistic scenes. The Confederate flag is raised every day on the plantation. 

Eden, played by Janelle Monáe, is caught trying to escape and is brought back to the plantation. The movie shows how slavery in America was not that long ago, and just because the land is different looking doesn’t mean that it never happened. Eden’s spirit to fight back is another reason why slavery did not continue to modern times because African-Americans fought back for their freedoms during the Civil war. 

 Courtesy of IMDb.

 The film depicts the realities of past America for African-Americans and what it could have been like if the Civil War had not occurred. Veronica could have been Eden in a past life or been Eden in her present life. The scene of Janelle Monáe holding up a fire torch she used to kill the Confederate Senator and captain in a raging fire and how black women created change in America then and now.  

The acting from the cast is spectacular and authentic, from protagonists to antagonists. Many history critics ideally wanted the movie to be as accurate as possible to reflect how African-Americans got treated psychologically and physically. But I think the film was realistically graphic as is. “Antebellum” has a fiction storyline based on very real events to show that slavery wasn’t that long ago in America. I would give the movie a solid 5 / 5 sails.


For more information or news tips, or if you see an error in this story or have any compliments or concerns, contact [email protected].