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Antebellum - Jennie Kermode - 16917

Antebellum - Jennie Kermode - 16917

Opening with William Faulkner's famous lines 'The past is never dead. It's not even past,' Gerard Bush and Christopher Renz's blistering mystery thriller blends its tenses even as it builds its tension. It beckons the viewer in with the romance which, to many Americans, is still conjured up by the title, with golden light and green fields and a rustle of colourful skirts, only to draw back and reveal a landscape where white men on horseback leer downwards at cowed black cotton pickers. You can't daydream about the past unless you're willing to face the brutal reality - but of course, it's precisely that brutality that some people want back.

Are the events that we see in these opening scenes a piece of the past or something else? When her alarm goes off, Veronica (Janelle Monáe) wakes up in the present day. Her partner soothes her, asks if it was another.

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