Today the film Free State of Jones opens in theaters across the United States. Historian Victoria E. Bynum, whose book of the same name helped inspire the film, has been making media rounds this week, talking about what the New York Times has called “the first Hollywood drama to come with footnotes.” Director Gary Ross comes correct on the history in this project, so historians, enjoy!
UNC Press staff are headed to a showing of the film at midday today, so follow us on Twitter (@uncpressblog) for pics and reactions.
If you’re headed out to see the movie, keep an eye out for the historian herself, who makes a cameo appearance (as does her husband, Gregg) within the first five minutes of the film. She writes:
It begins with the battle of Corinth, which really gets you on the edge of your seat. Within a few minutes of the battle, Newt Knight rushes a wounded young boy into the hospital tent. Gregg’s face (wearing hat) appears fleetingly at the tent door. Soon after, my scene appears. I’m easy to spot, center screen, quietly reading Bible verse. All is chaos around us and the scene quickly shifts to entrance by Newt. If you look hard, you can see me very briefly in background behind Newt, looking the other way.
Here are 4 ways you can celebrate the opening of Free State of Jones:
1. Watch this film clip, which, yes, features plenty of Matthew McConaughey
2. Watch this interview with Bynum on Mississippi Public Broadcasting’s “Conversations”
3. Join the #askFSOJ Twitter Chat TODAY at 4:00 pm EST.
Bynum (@vikki_bynum) and the NEH (@NEHgov) will chat on Twitter today, 6/24, at 4pm EST. Follow and chime in using #askFSOJ. The historian used an NEH grant to finish the research that helped her complete the book.
4. Download a FREE ebook—while they last!
To celebrate the release of the film, we’re making 100 ebooks available for download FREE through the BookGrabbr social media platform. Just use your Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn profile to post about it, and you are granted access to download the ebook for free.