By Tambay A. Obenson | Shadow and Act July 11, 2013 at 1:25PM
Based on what's presented in the trailer below, this is not what I expected. I thought it would be something more akin to an interracial buddy drama, which told both of their stories equally. This instead looks like it's entirely one-sided, favoring the white man.
One of seven 2013 slave-themed films that made my January list, Ketchup Entertainment acquired distribution rights to Savannah, the drama starring Jim Caviezel and Chiwetel Ejiofor, to release theatrically on August 23, and on DVD/VOD on September 24.
It could be quite a year for Chiwetel Ejiofor, thanks to the 3 feature films he stars in, scheduled for release in the next 7 to 8 months: 12 Years A Slave, Half Of A Yellow Sun (although a release date hasn't been announced yet) and Savannah, in which he also plays a slave, like in the aforementioned 12 Years A Slave.
Like the other 2 films, Savannah is also a work of historical fiction, based on real events, set during post-Civil War days, in which Caviezel stars as the real-life, “well-educated, eccentric, larger-than-life hunter” named Ward Allen, who develops a unique friendship with a freed slave named Christmas Moultrie, played by Ejiofor.
The film is loosely based on a book by John Eugene Cay, Jr., titled, Ducks, Dogs and Friends, which tells the story of Christmas Moultrie (the last slave born on the historical Mulberry Grove Plantation, where the Cotton Gin was invented), who hunted on the Savannah River, together with Ward Allen, and his Chesapeake Bay Retrievers.
This looks like it's instead more Ward Allen's story than Moultrie's. Although I should note that I haven't read the book, so it could be all about Moultrie anyway.
Annette Haywood-Carter directed from a screenplay she co-wrote with Kenneth F. Carter Jr.
Jaimie Alexander, Hal Holbrook, Sam Shepard, Bradley Whitford and Jack McBrayer round out the cast.
Here's the first trailer which just surfaced: