Release Date: 2/16/15 (Made-for-TV)
Rating: Not Available
Director: Clement Virgo
Studios: Conquering Lion Pictures, Out of Africa Entertainment
Cast: Aunjanue Ellis (Aminata Diallo), Cuba Gooding, Jr. (Sam Fraunces), Ben Chaplin (Captain John Clarkson), Louis Gossett, Jr. (Daddy Moses), Greg Bryk (Robertson Appleby), Jane Alexander (Maria Witherspoon), Allan Hawco (Solomon Lindo), Rick Roberts (General Washington), Lyriq Bent (Chekura Tiano), Stephan James (Cummings Shackspear).
Details: According to Shadow and Act, the novel’s synopsis reads: abducted as an 11-year-old child from her village in West Africa and forced to walk for months to the sea in a coffle—a string of slaves— Aminata Diallo is sent to live as a slave in South Carolina. But years later, she forges her way to freedom, serving the British in the Revolutionary War and registering her name in the historic “Book of Negroes.” This book, an actual document, provides a short but immensely revealing record of freed Loyalist slaves who requested permission to leave the US for resettlement in Nova Scotia, only to find that the haven they sought was steeped in an oppression all of its own.
Aunjanue Ellis stars as Aminata Diallo, while Cuba Gooding Jr. and Lou Gossett, Jr. play Sam Fraunces and Daddy Moses respectively. Gooding’s Fraunces is a freed slave from Jamaica who runs his namesake tavern (Fraunces Tavern), participates in several historical events, and later moves to Mount Vernon to run George Washington’s household. Daddy Moses is Moses ‘Daddy’ Wilkinson or Old Moses, an African American slave, and Methodist preacher in Nova Scotia and Sierra Leone. Though blind and crippled, Wilkinson led a band of runaway slaves to freedom in 1776. Also Lyriq Bent is playing Chekura, who, as a young boy, made the crossing with Aminata when she was sold into slavery, is separated from her, and later reunites with her when they are adults, and have a child together.
The adaptation of the novel will be a 6-hour TV mini-series which will air on BET Networks in the U.S. in February 2015 and CBC in Canada on January 7, 2015.
Source(s): Shadow and Act; IMDB.