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8 Movies Like Emancipation You Must See

December 11, 2022

Antoine Fuqua’s true story-inspired action thriller Emancipation follows the torturous journey of Peter, who is beaten and captured as a slave. He is taken to Louisiana, from where he flees to his family. Peter must hide from the tormenting hunters and his captors while struggling to survive in the deadly swamps of Louisiana. With a lot of courage and determination, he uses all means to save himself and return home.

Starring Will Smith and Ben Foster, the film contains a variety of elements that illustrate the impact of slavery. The cruel practice has claimed the lives of many black people and devastated families. If you want to watch films that deal with slavery and its turbulent aftermath, then the following films are for you. You can watch most of these movies similar to Emancipation on Netflix, Hulu or Amazon Prime.

8. Pompeii (2014)

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This action drama starring Kit Harrington tells the story of a gladiator. Once a slave, today’s warrior fights against time to protect his soulmate, engaged to a wicked Roman senator. He must fight to save his beloved as Mount Vesuvius explodes and Pompeii collapses. Directed by Paul WS Anderson, the film offers a glimpse into the hostile methods of kings and slave owners. Furthermore, like Emancipation, Pompeii is a story about survival and fighting to protect our loved ones.

7. Unbroken (2014)


This 2014 biographical war film is based on Laura Hillenbrand’s biographical novel of the same name and is directed by Angelina Jolie. Louis Zamperini, US Olympic record holder in track and field, survives a plane crash during World War II but is then abandoned by nature and later imprisoned as a prisoner of war. Jack O’Connell, Miyavi and Domhnall Gleeson star in the film. Although not a film about slavery, the protagonist’s tenacity and determination to make it out alive is very similar to Peter’s in Emancipation.

6. Amazing Grace (2006)

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The film is directed and written by Michael Apted. Set in 18th-century England, the film tells the true story of MP William Wilberforce (Ioan Gruffudd) and his great friend and future Prime Minister William Pitt (Benedict Cumberbatch) as they launch a long campaign to end the slave trade in the UK.

Though Wilberforce’s legislation is brutally crushed in 1791, his growing affection for Barbara Spooner (Romola Garai) drives him to fight again. While Emancipation doesn’t involve the government very much, Amazing Grace is similar to the first film in its portrayal of slavery.

5. The Birth of a Nation (2016)

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Nate Parker’s historical drama The Birth of a Nation follows a learned preacher’s efforts to foment a war against slavery. Nat Turner is stunned by the increasing cruelty of the plantation owners and initiates a riot with his sermons. He strives to protect his people from the chains of slavery. In addition, he reaffirms his belief that the Almighty Lord has entrusted him with the task of liberating his people. Both Emancipation and The Birth of a Nation are based on the true experiences of slaves in terrible conditions. The films do not shy away from depicting the gruesome reality of the unshakable events.

4th Freedom (2014)

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Two relatives separated in time by 100 years are united in their quest for freedom. Slave Samuel Woodward and his family flee a plantation while the legendary slaver pursues them bitterly. Samuel is forced to choose between revenge and freedom. He is haunted by the unimaginable misery he and his ancestors endured.

Samuel’s great-grandfather goes back 1748, 100 years, aboard a slave ship. Directed by Peter Cousens, the film offers a resounding theme of slavery and its impact on families. These aspects are otherwise similar to the experiences Peter and his family have in Emancipation.

3. Amistad (1997)


Directed by Steven Spielberg, one of Hollywood’s greatest directors, Amistad is the story of Joseph Cinque. He is the leader of a revolution on a slave ship en route from Cuba to the United States. Set in 1839, events spiral out of control when the ship is steered in a different direction. The film’s title derives from the ship’s name, La Amistad. The film is based on a true story and stars Anthony Hopkins, Morgan Freeman and Matthew McConaughey. Like Emancipation, this film depicts the horrors of slavery while also being a true story. In addition, the protagonists in both films have the courage to stand up and break out.

2. Harriet (2019)

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Harriet, starring Cynthia Erivo, Leslie Odom Jr. and Janelle Monáe, is based on a true story. Directed by Kasi Lemmons, the film follows the life of a young girl who escapes slavery to become an abolitionist. Her captor promises her freedom, but doesn’t keep his word. As a result, she is forced to free herself from slavery while abandoning her family. The film aims to be a very accurate representation of the events that took place in reality. Both Emancipation and Harriet portray the cruelty and harshness of the plantation owners. They reflect a true picture of the suffering endured by slaves in those primitive years.

1. 12 Years a Slave (2013)

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Steve McQueen’s historical drama film 12 Years A Slave is a tale of deceit and deception. Brown and Hamilton offer Solomon Northup, an independent African American, a two-month contract. In Washington, DC, however, he finds that he has been sold into slavery. The film questions the underhanded methods contractors and kidnappers use to enslave more people.

The film sheds light on the lives of African American people during the days of slavery while providing a true picture of the kidnappers and owners. In addition, the memoirs of the same name form the basis for the film. Abominable aspects of slavery as a practice and the reality of slave owners are adequately portrayed in the Emancipation-evocative film.