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by Gerard Bush & Christopher Renz

This was hard. This movie was hard to watch. It was hard to digest. It's been very hard to review. This story makes me feel sick. I come from the south. I was born and raised in Georgia. I know people who can not let go of the thought that the south shall rise again. They revel in the thoughts of grey glory and stories of Johnny Reb. Growing up, I had friends whose family members were part of the CSA, the confederate sons of America. We learned battle songs of the Georgia Militia and how to roll bullets. I know from experience how uncomfortable hoop skirts can be in the heat of a southern summer. The war between the states was romanticized and glamorized through the lens of Gone With The Wind and trips to Stone Mountain to watch the three main leaders of the civil war ride across the mountain animated by lasers, while Elvis sings “Dixie.” This was how I was brought up; I never heard the real stories until I grew up. I never realized until later that the story I got was from the wrong side. Antebellum shines a light on how getting the wrong story your whole life can breed the worst kinds of monsters.

I don't want to go into too much detail. There is a twist. I'm going to do my best to not spoil it, but it's the twist that has put most people off. I didn't mind the twist to be honest. It worked well in the confines of the story. The story is pretty much about author Veronica Henley (Janelle Monáe) and her dealing with the parallels of racism in a modern world and back in civil war times, which she is now experiencing first hand.

Janelle Monáe is amazing. She is strength, grace, and intelligence. You feel for her in every moment. What she goes through in this film is terrifying. The hate and torture is what makes Antebellum truly horrific. The way the film makers used time to keep the viewer on their toes is brilliant. The way they made the villains so despicable and nauseating was perfect. They're reprehensible; the very definition of human monsters.

This movie is hard. This movie is hard because it's relevant. The United States isn't so united and this horror is an everyday thing for a lot of people in this country. It may not go to these lengths, but it's still there. Not hiding in the shadows, but standing in the spotlight. These monsters are real.

Antebellum is a hard movie, but it's well worth the watch. A horrifying story with an impressive heroine that is powerful and moving. It's available for PPV on Prime. I really enjoyed it and can't wait to get it on blu-ray.

Robin Thompson, HMS

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