The Journey of August King (1995) - Plot Summary Poster


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  • The Journey of August King is a multi-dimensional drama about a North Carolina farmer in April 1815. August King, a widower, is on his way home as he does every year after selling his produce and purchasing the stock and goods he will need for the coming year. On his journey, he comes upon a run-away slave, a 17 year old young woman and August King must decide to violate the law and help this slave to freedom or leave her to be hunted down and,ultimately, returned to her slave owner. But the drama turns into a question of whether either soul will gain freedom.


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  • The journey that August King takes is one of faith. He is conflicted with what the world tells him in the here and now and resists any idea that he is connected to the plight of this young woman. His journey is a metamorphosis. During this journey he changes and grows in his faith without ever realizing it -- at each turn he is making the critical decision to not only help someone, but to take a leap of faith -- a faith that his wife tried to persuade him exists but one in which he does not immediately believe. He is called upon by a higher power and sees this only at the moment he loses everything. The beauty of it is that he gains everything in the interim. This film is full of symbolism and Biblical references that integral to the plot and affords the viewer an opportunity to experience what it means to chose between right and wrong, good and evil in an almost alcoholic way -- day by day, hour by hour, minute by minute, second by second. We cannot know in advance, what our mission is in life we can only make critical decision one at a time until the entire mission is revealed. Jason Patric's performance is excellent as well as a performance by Thandie Newton -- before she becomes well known through other films yet to come. As a person involved in the slavery film 12 Years a Slave, I must say that this film in many ways is just as riveting and important in the telling of American History and the nation in which we live past and present. There are some strong images but this film is well worth watching. Renee Moore, themoor78@yahoo.com

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