Will Smith stars in Emancipation for Apple TV. The two time AAFCA award winner Will Smith, Director Antoine Fuqua, Actor Charmaine Bingwa and Actor Ben Foster join us. This discussion is part of our African American Film Critic Association roundtable discussions for their new movie Emancipation. Watch the video below as I speak with Will about the triggering effect of slavery films on the black community. Will Smith talks about the impact on his psyche the first time he had to put on the shackles to embody the tragic moments in Paul’s life:
“Emancipation” tells the triumphant story of Peter (Will Smith), a man who escapes from slavery, relying on his wits, unwavering faith, and deep love for his family to evade cold-blooded hunters and the unforgiving swamps of Louisiana on his quest for freedom. The film is inspired by the 1863 photos of “Whipped Peter,” taken during a Union Army medical examination, that first appeared in Harper’s Weekly. One image, known as “The Scourged Back,” which shows Peter’s bare back mutilated by a whipping delivered by his enslavers, ultimately contributed to growing public opposition to slavery.
“Emancipation” is directed by Antoine Fuqua, from a script by William N. Collage. The film is produced by Will Smith and Jon Mone through Westbrook Studios, Joey McFarland though McFarland Entertainment and Todd Black through Escape Artists. Chris Brigham, Antoine Fuqua, James Lassiter, Heather Washington, Cliff Roberts, Glen Basner and Scott Greenberg are executive producing.