ORANGE’s religious leaders were recently invited to preview the film Freedom which opens for a limited season and release at the Odeon 5 Cinema tomorrow night.
Director Peter Cousens who forged a career in musical theatre in Australia before branching into production and films, said the film about the American slave trade and the struggle for freedom resonates around the world today, as so many people continue to suffer in oppressed circumstances.
“It was a very intense time right from when the script landed on my desk,” he said.
“We were able to shoot the film in 25 days in the Connecticut area and that included the challenges of the tall ship scenes,” he said.
“We were very fortunate because there was a tall ships conference off the coast of Rhode Island at the time and we utilised those resources,” he said.
Mr Cousens said in the lead-up to tomorrow’s nation-wide release of the film, previews including the ones held in Orange, were designed to give religious leaders and advocates of social justice and opportunity to view the film and spread the word.
Freedom tells the story of the Underground Railroad, an organisation in America which during the years of the slave trade through a series of secret routes and safe houses helped 100,000 slaves to escape to Canada.
“This really is an uplifting film,” Mr Cousens said.
Among Orange’s religious leaders who attended the screening in Orange was Bev Rankin.
“The message in the film is one which is relevant even today as people around the world are still affected by slavery.
“It was very moving,” she said.
Mr Cousens said the first few minutes of the film are confronting but a real life depiction of the cruelty inflicted on the African americans by their plantation owners and an accurate depiction of the transportation methods used to take the slaves to America.
“We are so encouraged by the response we have had so far,” he said.
Freedom will screen for a limited time at the Odeon 5 Cinemas in Orange with the first session at 6.45pm tomorrow night.