Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...

Jeremiah Trotter Making Acting Debut In Lead Role As Escaped Slave Big Ben Jones (Lynn Whitfield, Michael Jai White Co-Star)

News
by Tambay A. Obenson
July 18, 2012 9:27 PM
9 Comments
  • |

Things that make you go hmm... slave movie fever in full effect - Django Unchained, 12 Years A Slave, and others I'm probably forgetting right now.

Toss this into the mix as well.

I couldn't immediately find anything online about 'Big Ben Jones' (it's based on a true story), although that doesn't mean much. Maybe someone else would have better luck.

Regardless, details about the project (which NFL free agent Jeremiah Trotter just joined the cast of, playing the film's starring role), in the press release below:

Doylestown, PA. July 18, 2012THE NORTH STAR, an independent feature film based on true events, tells the story of Big Ben Jones, a slave who makes a daring escape from a Virginia plantation to Buckingham, PA in 1848, and gets helped by local Quakers.

Long held in the archives of the Mercer Museum in Doylestown, PA, this is an important story that has never been brought to the public in this manner. The filmmaker (written/director Thomas K. Phillips) and producers have conducted extensive research and with the assistance of the museum staff, recently held a press event that included an actual shoe of Big Ben Jones.

Jeremiah Trotter is the newest member to be added to the cast and news is traveling fast throughout the region. As an admired member of the Philadelphia Eagles, Trotter was first signed by the team in the 1998 NFL Draft. He then played for the Washington Redskins before returning to the Eagles in 2004 and was also voted to the Pro Bowl in 2005 and 2006.

In addition to Trotter, cast members for THE NORTH STAR include Clifton Powell (Ray, Norbert, Rush Hour, Friday After Next), Michael Rapaport (Hitch, The 6th Day), Lynn Whitfield (HBO’s Josephine Baker Story), Michael Jai White (Spawn, Tyler Perry’s Why Did I Get Married?), April Woodall (Broadway actress and vocalist), Keith David (Platoon, Crash, The Thing, ATL), Jermaine Jones (Finalist on American Idol), and Alana Lee.

Director of Photography is Keiko Nakahara (honored as one of the outstanding up-and-coming cinematographers by the president of The American Society of Cinematographers).

Filming will take place on location all throughout Bucks County, and will commence in August.

I did find a website for the project, which has a much longer synopsis that pretty much tells you the whole story. It follows below, but you've been warned, if you don't like spoilers:

In the American South of the 1840’s the forced servitude of blacks was a way of life. Brutality enabled this institution to flourish and any slave caught attempting to secure their liberty through escape faced the cruelest retribution.

In late August of 1848, two courageous men took this step so fraught with peril and ran away from their master’s plantation in Virginia.

BENJAMIN “BIG BEN” JONES and MOSES HOPKINS, armed with little more than instructions to follow the North Star, would brave cold, hunger and bloodthirsty pursuers in their flight to freedom. In their darkest hour, they would be befriended by a southern white religious family whose sacrifice on their behalf changed the two forever.

Fortune eventually guided the pair to the comparative safety of BUCKINGHAM, Pennsylvania where they felt so comfortable that they almost immediately resolved to make it their home. Before the sun had set on their first day in Buckingham however, happenstance thrust Big Ben and Moses into an emergency meeting of Underground Railroad workers at the MT. GILEAD CHURCH.

At this meeting Big Ben makes a fateful decision to assist the radical-leaning Quaker JOSHUA FELL in the dangerous rescue of a pregnant escaped slave. From this point on, Big Ben became aligned with the militant abolitionist faction that prevailed locally while Moses adopted a more passive, nonviolent role for the cause.

When not off on an adventure with potentially grave consequences, Ben managed to cultivate the acquaintance of a fellow escaped slave, Sarah, and soon the two fell in love.

Under the uniquely trying circumstances of their situation, all seemed to be going well for Ben, Moses and the residents of Buckingham. Ben even gets the opportunity to encounter leaders in the abolitionist movement when he meets HARRIET TUBMAN and WILLIAM STILL, and later witnesses, along with a sizeable contingent from the Mt. Gilead Church, a speech by FREDERICK DOUGLASS.

When it appears that a comfortable sense of normalcy has finally arrived for Ben in his new life, treachery from an unexpected source strike remorselessly. He is confronted with an escaped slaves’ greatest fear, and this encounter, along with the reaction of his fellow towns people, provides a most poignant moment at the conclusion of this chronicle.

This is a story that shows humanity at its best and at its worst during the time of slavery in America.

News
  • |
Free Indie Movies and Documentaries    

9 Comments

  • Ava | July 19, 2012 5:42 PMReply

    Okay, what's going on? Some sort of slavery zeitgeist? What next, a Vogue magazine pictorial? Why are all these movies coming out at around the same time?

  • CareyCarey | July 19, 2012 5:42 PMReply

    **WARNING! CUSS WORDS AHEAD** Give me a gawdaym break. I can do a few slave movies, but don't slap me while you're fu*king me. I mean, give us the story but don't talk to us like we have tails. So lets see, this movie is "based" on true events. Yippie, that means what? Does that mean the movie is realer than real and factual as hell, and we're going to learn something new? Please, like every slave story is not based on some element of slave life. But wait, you want real, lets bring out Big Ben Jones' shoe to show the authenticity of THIS movie, and THIS runaway slave. PLEASE, who preserved Big Black Ben's shoe for this historic event? Was it tailor made and thus, had his name in it? PLEASE, stop slapping me while you're fu*king me. Now lets see, "forced servitude of blacks was a way of life in the 1840's". NO SHIT!? It's called slavery; work without pay under the cruelest conditions - duh. But wait, here's the good part. This movie shows humanity at it's best b/c a good ol' southern white religious family (who apparently moved up north to save slaves) sacrifices their standing in the community, one of their pigs and a hand-me-down dress ( for Big Ben's bride), in an effort to save Ben's shoe and gain his freedom. PLEASE! Take your penis out of my boo-boo while you're lying to me softly. But every black person should get excited about this history lesson. Heck, just like the movie Red Tails, there will be honorable black folks in this movie. Harriet Tubman & Fredrick Douglas are in the house... I mean in THIS movie! PLEASE! I don't know about y'all, but I was more offended by this synopsis/movie/write-up than the combination of those describing Mandingo, Django and Bojangles.

  • Troy | July 19, 2012 10:58 AMReply

    Fact: there are more slaves in the world presently than during the diaspora. There is only one Obama and more stories have been created about him than slave movies. Also Obama has had more people killed than all the drug and gang lords have in the history of this country. People of power are usually killers but their victims stories should be silenced. Hey maybe they should make a Herman Coon movie. Or a tv show about a black woman being hired by white people to run their shit, you know like the black who have been recently hired by NBC and FOX. It still reeks of a slave story to me but hell it's original you know white people rarely give black people jobs.

  • CareyCarey | July 19, 2012 4:29 PM

    Troy, excuse me, but I reserve my following comment for special people who seem to have lost their damn mind, and thus, need a little help removing the scars from their past. Now, I generally, or seldom agree with Priss, but since she called it right by labeling you an idiot, I am left to help you, by telling you to BLOW IT OUT YOUR ASS! I mean, you're obviously a white racist pig with nothing to do except sit around with your thumb in your funky ass while trolling black blogs. So I feel obligated to let you know... dain't that kind of party young man. So stand-up, reach back and remove your nicotine tinged fingers from your gluteus maximus. Free your mind, dispense your madness as your brain power (sputum) BLOWS OUT YOUR ASS! Just-for-you Troy, b/c you're a (_?_) Not a (_!_) = normal ass, you're a (____?____) "Big Dumb Ass" who thought they were a (__E=MC2__)

  • Priss | July 19, 2012 1:14 PM

    I've taken to just reading the blogs because whenever I read the comments, I am astounded by the idiocy.

  • LeonRaymond | July 19, 2012 12:43 AMReply

    Damn, we have no creativity what so ever, can't we just of left the other films to their circle, why do we need more films about Run-Away-Slaves, God this so damn horrible, we just have no creativity!!!!

  • other song | July 19, 2012 11:38 AM

    Troy, you're missing the point. and then went on to create a straw man argument.

  • Troy | July 19, 2012 10:46 AM

    No more slave movies, crime dramas, romantic comedies, science fiction films, and no more films of any existing genre. Every movie that comes out from her forth should be forced to create it's own unique genre so it cannot be scrutinized in measurement by any other film any one in the world has already seen. That's is true creativity. Also not painters can no longer paint on a canvas to express themselves. And no network shall real ease any shows this fall that still come in the archaic television. Tattoos should not be on skin they should be on teeth. And cars should be driven in the air. Creativity the act something people have been doing for a long time in a completely unique way so a Nigga can say they are creative.

  • the black police | July 18, 2012 10:56 PMReply

    Yay! More slaves!

Follow Shadow and Act

Email Updates

Most "Liked"

  • Richard Pryor's Son Moves to Block Production ...
  • Review: 'The Purge: Anarchy' Has Little ...
  • Muna Otaru Takes Over for Nicole Beharie ...
  • Now Taking Your Questions for S&A Column ...
  • BET Moves Premiere Date for Ava DuVernay's ...
  • Watch Trailer For Spike Lee-Directed ...
  • Idris Elba in Talks Play Merlin-Like ...
  • Zendaya Coleman Explains Her Departure ...
  • Spike Lee Edits Footage of Black Man's ...
  • "Many Documentary Films Have Been Shot ...