"Enslavement, the True Story of Fanny Kemble"
When the Spirit Moves Us to be True
The story of "Enslavement, the True Story of Fanny Kemble" is a true story about a woman I knew nothing about. This is a fabulous film, and Jane Seymour and her husband James Keach are to be honored for making it, and for Showtime for showing it! I hope someday Showtime releases this film for purchase, for I will be first in line. Congratulations to BlockBuster for renting it, or I would never have stumbled upon it. (Side note; If you wondered about the truly wonderful love scenes between the doctor and Fanny, that is why: Seymour and Keach seem to truly have an otherworldly love for each other that glows on the screen. But back to our story:
Despite "everyone" in the United States and the state of Georgia being against her; i.e. those who believed in racism and upheld slavery; those who were perpetrating cruelty upon other human beings in the name of "this is the way it is," Ms. Kemble remained true to her spirit and the spirit of justice, and the spirit of love. What amazed me most about Seymour's portrayal was the running theme of "love and forgiveness" that stayed steady and strong throughout.
Kemble forgave her husband his malicious cruelty and always reminded him (and herself) of her initial love for him, and he for her, which caused them to marry.
The Spirit entered her and went through her, when she threw her arms around the boy who was to receive 100 lashes with the whip, resulting in certain death: literally being whipped to death. This was not a punishment in those times solely reserved for slaves: criminals and soldiers who deserted in the army were also punished and put to death in this way. In fact, sometimes "justice" was meted out so that you could choose to take 10 lashes a day for ten days or take the whole 100 at once and die. Many who chose to "spread them out" for a chance at survival gave up and gave in, in the end, as they could not bear the torture any longer.
Death was a welcome relief.
There was no guarantee that Ms. Kemble's husband or friends or allies would not also have her put to death for her "interference" and "disobedience." Women did not have many, if any, real rights in this era of civilization, particularly in this era in the South.
Yet that was a risk that she took to save that boy's life and the lives of the sick and injured who were enslaved on their farm; a plantation that farmed human misery for all to behold.
Fanny steadfastly opposed injustice even when it cost her the loss of her children for five long years, waiting for her divorce and separation agreement.
It was interesting to see how her husband melted and was molded by her "cooperation," even though she was "acting" most of the time. It was profound when HE called HER "a demon" who "made him burn his house down" when the DEMON had taken possession of him. Yet Fanny continued to do what she could to alleviate suffering in this world, even at great cost to herself.
This woman did what she believed was right, in the name of truth, justice, love and forgiveness; her beauty (a combination of all the principles we hold dear) was a shining testament to the spirit within.
If it had not been for the long and lonely years she spent on that Georgia plantation, and had it not been for her having to turn to her journal for any relief or comfort at all, the truth and the facts of slavery in this country would never have been known, and as pointed out, England may well have not joined with the Union Army to put an end to slavery in the United States.
Who knows what tomorrow will bring? God plucked Fanny Kemble from the English stage and sent her to America, and granted her riches and fame enough so that her story would be heard. Could she have ever dreamed of this when she "fell in love" and moved to Georgia, to be lost for so long? Yet steadfast and true, even when those she was trying to help had apparently turned against her, she forgave them their weaknesses and failings and kept her eyes "turned to the Light."
She never gave up and she never gave in, and kept the ideals of beauty, truth, justice and compassion in the forefront at all times.
God chooses us all for a certain task at hand, and who knows what tomorrow will bring?
Jane Seymour and the Keaches did a marvelous job, bringing us a story I had never known, yet has inspired me personally to continue on my own personal quest. thanks to all for making this film! I hope I can find out where to buy it, since it was "made for cable" and needs to be seen by any and all who need sustenance in the dark times, to know that we can all "move into the light." Even Kemble's husband, Pierce Butler, sees himself in the mirror and asks for forgiveness in the end. The spirit moved him and it moved her at the same time.
My only question is: what takes "the Spirit" so long???