Entertainment Weekly

Subscribe

Stay Connected

Subscribe

Advertise With Us

Learn More

Skip to content
Join Now
PetHero: Save 25% at the vet; get toys, treats, and a 24/7 lost pet conciergeLearn More

Article

Song of Freedom

Posted on

Song of Freedom

type:
Movie
Current Status:
In Season
mpaa:
Unrated
performer:
George Mozart, Paul Robeson
director:
J. Elder Wells
genre:
musical, Drama

We gave it a B+

If Amistad had been made in the 1930s, Paul Robeson would have been a cinch as Cinque, the African who stirs America’s conscience. Song of Freedom finds the brooding basso playing a stevedore-turned-concert vocalist who journeys to Africa to claim his royal kinship. Though the acting is stereotyped in places to counterpoint Robeson’s double-barreled bearing (his black sidekick, Robert Adams, is a timid, bug-eyed caricature), the movie confronts still-relevant issues of class and race, as well as the seldom-explored relations between Africans and African Americans. (Also in Kino’s newly remastered Paul Robeson: The Centennial Collection are his 1925 screen debut, Body and Soul, and 1937’s Jericho — the latter with choice tracks of the singer-actor-activist belting out show tunes.) B+