Race to Freedom
From one of the most troubled and dramatic periods in American history comes a story of courage and true love that transcends the ages. Race to Freedom: The Underground Railroad chronicles the dangerous flight of four determined slaves from a cotton plantation in America to the “Promised Land” in Canada. It is the story of heroic fugitives, bold conductors, and a candle in the window; the story of those who risked their lives by taking charge of their destiny, all for the chance to be free.
Here is a powerful film about struggling for one’s freedom. The actors are terrific, the story is well written and contains a suspenseful plot. This engaging story is based on the novel “Underground to Canada” by Barbara Smucker. The theme is about perseverance as four slaves leave North Carolina to go on the “underground railroad” to reach Canada, and freedom from slavery as the story takes place during the Pre-Civil War period. A Canadian abolitionist named Ross helps them. A couple, Sarah and Thomas, are separated during the initial race for freedom and the suspenseful plot focuses on Sarah’s hope to reach Canada and to learn if Thomas has survived.
The film features those who only see blacks as slaves and as less than human and conversely several white people who risk their lives to help the slaves because they believe in the freedom of all people and races. The characters are those that the viewer will care about and the bad guys are real villains in this movie. Janet Bailey is terrific as Sarah as is Courtney B. Vance as Thomas. Also Michael Riley as abolitionist Alexander Ross is wonderful too. It’s interesting that the film notes near the end that by 1861, at the onset of the Civil War, almost 40,000 fugitives had escaped to Canada and after the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863 many remained in Canada.
We are very happy to award this film our Dove “Family-Approved” Seal for ages twelve plus due to some intense scenes and a few violent moments although no scene is overly graphic. This movie will grab your attention and you will want to watch every minute of it to learn how it ends.