". . . But the past does not exist independently from the present. Indeed, the past is only past because there is a present, just as I can point to something over there only because I am here. But nothing is inherently over there or here. In that sense, the past has no content. The past -- or more accurately, pastness -- is a position. Thus, in no way can we identify the past as past." p. 15

". . . But we may want to keep in mind that deeds and words are not as distinguishable as often we presume. History does not belong only to its narrators, professional or amateur. While some of us debate what history is or was, others take it into their own hands." p. 153

Silencing the Past: Power and the Production of History (1995) by Michel-Rolph Trouillot

Thursday, January 21, 2016

First Trailer for The Free State of Jones

Thank you, Andy Hall, of Dead Confederates, for tipping me to the trailer.

The Free State of Jones opens in theaters in May 2016. The protagonist of the film is a poor white yeoman farmer in Mississippi, played by Matthew McConaughey, who, never liking secession, rebels against forced conscription and the plundering of his community's poor white farmers by scions of the aristocratic planter class. Recall, the family of Jeff Davis, so-called president of the CSA, were Mississippi aristo planters.

The film isn't based on the book that reads best and is most interesting about Newt Knight, his Mississippi rebellion against the CSA, the history of his first, white, family, and his second, black family, before, during and after the CSA lost the War of Southern Rebellion.  The best book is The State of Jones: The Small Southern County that Seceded from the Confederacy (2010) by Sally Jenkins and John Stauffer. The people and events of this book describe clearly in microcosm everything that was wrong with the antebellum south, planter society and slavery, and why the secessionists, being who they were, could never have ever won a war against the North.*

Instead, the film based on the other, earlier book, The Free State of Jones: Mississippi's Longest Civil War  (2001) by Victoria E. Bynum, a collateral (white) descendant of Newton Knight. It's more about herself than it is about Newt and his community.

Nevermind, this film should be, and from trailer, looks to be, a winner.


 *  I mentioned some of the problems between these two books here.

No comments: