After Chris Rock’s Oscars slap, Will Smith’s first significant movie was well-received at the premiere.
The weekend’s showing of Will Smith’s debut feature picture following his slap of Chris Rock at the 2022 Oscars was well-received.
Apple staged the first screening of Antoine Fuqua’s upcoming movie “Emancipation” on Saturday. Smith plays Peter, an enslaved man who escapes from Louisiana in search of his family and eventually joins the Union Army.
Initially, Smith’s now-famous Oscars smack left the movie’s future in doubt.
The Congressional Black Caucus Foundation’s 51st Annual Legislative Conference was held in Washington, D.C., on Saturday, and Apple, the company that produced “Emancipation,” announced that it would screen the movie there.
Attendees included members of the Congressional Black Caucus, the Divine 9 (Historically Black Fraternities and Sororities), Historically Black Colleges and Universities, and numerous other social impact leaders.
Derrick Johnson, president and chief executive officer of the NAACP, lauded the movie and called it “a story of struggle, of tenacity, of love and of triumph.”
“I recently had the pleasure of witnessing the movie “Emancipation,” and I can’t even begin to express how impactful it is for OUR town and OUR history. It is a tale of hardship, tenacity, love, and triumph “Johnson used Twitter. “We appreciate Antoine Fuqua and Will Smith contributing their talents. #ThisIsPower.”
After the screening, Angela Rye, a political and cultural analyst, conducted a discussion about the movie with Fuqua, 54, and Mary Elliott, curator of American Slavery at the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture.
The Academy Award-winning actor commented on the picture, saying, “I have declined a lot of films that were set during slavery over my career. I never intended to display ourselves in such a manner.
And suddenly this image appeared. This movie does not deal with slavery. This movie is about having freedom. This movie is about perseverance. This movie is about religion.”
Smith went on, “This movie, which could be considered the origin of the viral image, is about a man’s heart. The picture of Peter being whipped had just been made possible by the invention of cameras.
This narrative burst and flourished in my heart, and I wanted to be able to tell it to you in a way that only Antoine Fuqua could. It was a rallying cry against slavery.”
Smith was alluding to the well-known photo of the actual Peter Gordon, also known as “Whipped Peter,” who had terrible scars on his back from being whipped while a slave.
The image, which depicts the brutality and suffering of slavery in America, was released by New York’s Harper’s Weekly in 1863, making it the most widely read publication during the Civil War.
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