Series Review

'The Underground Railroad' is not so much a series as an epic film

With SA actress Thuso Mbedu as its star, this provocative series paints a moving picture of US slavery's brutal history

30 May 2021 - 00:00 By

Director Barry Jenkins's 10-episode adaptation of Colson Whitehead's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel The Underground Railroad is a wonderfully evocative and provocative beast that twists and turns its way through the brutal history of antebellum slavery in the US with a sharp eye for how this terrible chapter in America's past laid the foundation for its future.

It's not so much a series as an epic film and Jenkins, with his longtime collaborators cinematographer James Laxton and composer Nicholas Brittle, and shining South African lead actress Thuso Mbedu, weaves a complicated, multilayered portrait of a world that, while inspired by the horrendous realities of slavery and the groundwork laid out in Whitehead's novel, is ultimately an entirely original piece of art in its own right...

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