12 thoughts on “Antebellum Shows Slavery’s Horrors

  1. I’m not at all sure house slaves wore neat uniforms. They would probably be better dressed than field slaves, often in hand me downs from the family, but starched uniforms?
    One of the things you notice about slaveowners from the sources is they don’t want to be bothered. They want service now but they don’t train or organize and then take their frustrations out on the slaves who responded with massive passive resistance. And sometimes active as in the two slave women who made trouble over the theft of their good iron cauldron by their owner until he gave in and returned it. Another slave woman took advantage of a legal question over who owned her to declare herself free. She wasn’t of course but since nobody had clear title to her nobody could enforce their authority and she took full advantage. Slaves were not broken spirited and not submissive. They used what little power they had and their owners’ weaknesses to wrest a bit of agency for themselves. That subtle psychological resistance is all too often ignored in favor of oppression porn.

    1. PS. The take away from a reading of primary sources is that this was a horrible system to live under for everybody. Worst for the actual slaves but not at all good for poor whites looked down on for doing slave work or even slaveowners living in constant fear.

      1. I’ve seen this movie and it makes my blood boil. Because as a black woman watching this l, the overall jab is “Oh ahahah this how blacks are supposed to be , out them in a field and watch them get to work” like nothing about this makes sense. You telling all the high profile black people get snatched up put here and not once do they actively attempt to fight back or truly come together as a plan?

        And god the torture and rape scenes are abysmal. The fact that it’s black women who suffer the most are demonized and THEN expected to be ones to save everyone is bullshit. Once again we’re just there for visual pain and there to carry the burden.

        This movie is nothing more than a pathetic cash grab jumping on the coattails of “Get Out” and the book “Kindred” but instead of it being nuance and informative, it’s nothing more than another blacksploition movie who doesn’t even have a clear audience.

        Who was this movie made for? Fucking who?

        1. The only go thing to come out of this movie is that its the final nail on the coffin for explotive slave movies that want to be an action thriller blockbuster

          Also this is exactly why I’m uncomfortable around civil war reenactments, like I cannot look at you don’t care if you’re trying to be a scarlett ohara, you make me feel unsafe to be around

          1. Then there are people like Michael Twitty and Cheyney McKnight who go “our ancestors were people too. We’ll make sure people remember who built this country.”

  2. I watched that movie with at my side a bunch of teen girls who expected an Insidious like movie; they kept laughing ( especially at Gabourey Sidibe) and cracking jokes about the non white characters, which pissed me of a lot

  3. Sounds kinda reminiscent of Octavia Butler’s Kindred novel. The horror elements initially put me off so this might actually boot me into giving it a shot.

  4. Weren’t the 19th century scenes supposed to be set during the Civil War and not the Antebellum period?

  5. True enough. People coped in all kinds of different ways, or failed to cope. A lot depended on the personalities involved.

  6. Yeah the ending was all kinds of wrong and way too quick/easy.
    But what was even worse is that this movie, in my eyes, exploited the suffering (far worse than what even was depicted in Antebellum) of real life people during a dark period in history to make “horror thriller”.
    Sorry to be crass, but it’s like setting an Action movie in Auschwitz.

  7. Any error in costuming is covered by the twist even the skirt not having enough fabric, so judging the costuming as a period movie is difficult. The problem I have with this movie is that it’s basically “Hostel” with a different setting. Reducing a historic injustice of this magnitude to the set dressing of a elegantly-shot torture horror movie is… a choice.

  8. May have to check this one out actually – premise certainly sounds intriguing.

    As for critics hating it, were they the same people who went gaga over the utterly godawful Midsommar (both infuriating as a film AND for its costumes – ‘Swedish’ cult all in the cheapest Hungarian/Romanian/Ukrainian folk outfits?)

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