Freedom's Path (2022) Movie Script

[tense music]
[insects chirping]
[children chattering]
Hi, Mom.
[birds chirping]
[insects buzzing]
[slow instrumental music]
[train chugging]
Life is as simple as a choice.
Good or bad, wrong or right...
...ultimately, it will make us
into who we are.
A simple choice
made in youth...
...can alter the very course
of a lifetime.
It can take us up
mountainous peaks
or along smooth
and gentle streams.
-[Lewis] You ready?
-[William] Ah, the looker.
-[chuckles] Come on.
-[William] You look like
a regular soldier.
It can take us
down into deep
and shadowy valleys...
...hard and treacherous places.
-Come on.
Say goodbye to your mom or what?
No, it ain't worth it.
What a lifetime really is, is
a million different decisions
that someone made...
...and everything
that happens in between...
Well, that's what living is.
-[bugle call]
You know, I'd reckon
after three months of drilling,
you'd be a lot quicker
than Molasses.
Fall in, boy.
[grunts] We've been marching
all damn night.
Come on, sleepyhead.
Double time, quick.
Fall in on next corporal.
-[horse neighs]
-They got us racing
a colored unit
to reinforce the 21st.
Can you believe that?
Negroes with guns?
Way no nigger
gonna be beating us
through our first fight.
I'll tell you that much.
And just imagine them
on the line.
"Can I shoot, Massa?
Oh, why, thank you, Massa."
You men cut that john
and fall in. Get moving.
[horse neighs]
Not much
more of this I can take.
Attention, company.
Right dress.
[grave instrumental music]
Company, halt.
Son, identify yourself.
21st Ohio.
They had us surrounded.
Outnumbered four to one.
A whole mess of them.
[panting] Killing
all the wounded they can.
Fall in line
at the rear of the regiment.
There ain't no way in hell
I'm going back there!
Corporal Hyde,
arrest this man for desertion.
Attention, company!
Shirking, desertion
and cowardice
is in fact a military offense
punishable by prison
or execution.
Now forward march!
[grave instrumental music]
[William breathing heavily]
I don't think I got it in me
to kill a man.
-Damn it.
So that's why you been quiet
all morning?
Look around you, William.
How many men in this outfit
you think killed before?
-[drum cadence]
-[horse neighs]
[drum cadence]
Let's show these...
sons of bitches
what us boys from Clearfield
are made of.
Fire by company!
Oh, shit, Willie.
I think I got one.
Load, load, load!
[war cry]
[cry gets louder]
[tense music]
[men grunting]
[grunting, breathing heavily]
[muffled chattering]
-[men screaming]
William, lie down.
We just, uh, we just
gotta get home. Get home.
We just--
We gotta--
[gasping] We just--
-[men screaming, grunting]
We just... Go home, man.
-Just gotta get home.
[ears ringing]
[somber music]
-[men screaming]
-[men grunting]
[breathing heavily]
[grunts, muffled scream]
[tense music]
[somber instrumental music]
[insects chirping]
[tense music]
[soft clattering]
[pebbles clattering]
[soft instrumental music]
-[Lewis] You ready? Come on.
-[William] Ah, the looker.
Captain, see what he got.
[ears ringing]
He ain't dead.
Mm. Mm.
It's okay.
Dee, we gotta keep on.
You know damn well
that boy ain't lasting
until morning. Look at him.
No. He gonna help us
get where we need to go.
He gonna get us killed.
Come on, let's get you up.
Come on, come on.
Leave him. We gotta move.
Come on.
Let's get you up. Come on.
[grunts] Come on. Come on.
Find them legs, boy. Kitchum,
-come and get this side.
-[William grunts]
[Dee grunts] Kitchum!
Here we go.
Find them legs, boy. Come on.
Lord, Dee, he's gonna
make us do all the work.
Don't matter if we have
to carry him the whole way.
They bring him on they own
and let us right on through.
Give us strength, Father.
You best not die on us.
He ain't gonna die.
Nah, he ain't gonna die.
[canteen pops]
[grunts, panting]
-All right, this is gonna hurt.
Name's Dee.
[both grunt]
This here is Kitchum.
He takes the kitch, so... call him that.
You just giving
our names out now?
-[Dee] What they call you?
-[William] William.
Is you a pattyroller, William?
You looking to catch you
some slaves?
See, old Kitch...
...he don't trust nobody,
'cause he got a heart
the size of a pea.
[chuckles] There we go.
There. [sniffles]
That'll do
till we get on the camp.
Yeah, we heard
you boys in blue was close... we're gonna
join the fight.
Signing up.
Keep following
this river here north.
We should be just fine.
I'm gonna go see
where them boys run off to.
Y'all boys weren't lying
when you said you move quick.
I told you
that boy was deadweight.
Where Dee at?
-[men exclaiming]
[tense music]
-[man 1] Where they at?
Where they at?
[dramatic music]
-[man 2] ...move on!
-[men shouting]
What the hell you doing, boy?
Get out!
[man 3]
Dee, let's get outta here.
-[men hooting]
There's too many
of them out there, Kitch.
-[men shouting]
No! No!
-No, no, no.
-Damn, Kitchum, get back.
Dee! [exclaims]
[man 3]
Get them!
They're moving the other way.
-I got you. You all right.
You're okay. Look at me.
You're okay, you're all right.
Kitch, you got to help him.
-Kitchum, you,
you gotta help him.
-No, no, no, no, no, no.
You, you gotta
help me get there.
-You gotta help me get there.
-Take, take him with you.
Help me take him.
Help me take him, Dee.
Dee! Hey, don't leave me.
Don't leave me.
Hey! Dee!
-[man 3] There's
too many of them.
Kitchum, run!
Billy, no!
[sobs] No!
-[man 4] Easy, boys, easy.
-[man 5] You see them?
-[man 6] Move in left,
move in left.
-[man 7] Covering there.
-[man 8] Over there. Get him!
-[man 5] Get him. Get him.
-[men shouting]
-[gunshots in distance]
Hey, hey, look, you're gonna
have to run with me, all right?
-Everything you got. Come on.
-[Kitch] Come on. Come on.
-[men hooting]
-Come on, we gotta move.
-We gotta move.
[men hooting]
I'm gonna tear you up, boy.
[dramatic music]
[screams in pain]
[man 8]
Over there.
Come. Come on.
You all right.
[both panting and groaning]
[somber music]
Oh, you best be worth it.
I don't need your help.
You don't need my help?
I've been trudging
your broken ass
all through these hills.
Billy, Dee, they all dead
'cause of you.
You just wanna lay here and die?
You know, fine by me.
[grunts, panting]
Just keep up.
[tense music]
-Some bitch surprised me.
-This him?
-This the boy who whoop you?
No. That ain't him.
And he weren't alone, neither.
He had a Yank running with him.
[chuckles] I almost had him,
but he, but he...
And then I didn't get
a clean eye on him.
No following dog.
-[Silas] Turner!
-[Turner] Yeah, boss?
You find
whichever nigger favors most...
...and mess him up a bit,
would you?
This sign say "dead or alive."
These woods is my world,
and I'm God in it. Hear me?
You let another slave
take advantage of you...
...boy, you fetch one more
from the rest of them.
Slave running with a Yankee.
[slow dramatic music]
[grunts, screams]
-[Kitch] Come on, we're close.
Come on.
[grunts] Come on.
I know.
[grunts, pants]
-Come on.
[slow instrumental music]
[insects chirping]
[drum cadence]
[somber instrumental music]
[muffled gunshots]
-[William] Lewis.
-[Lewis] We just gotta get home.
[birds chirping]
[dice clattering]
[soft laughter]
[soft laughter]
[breathing heavily]
You can get a might
of fresh air with me.
Well, you back to your mind.
[chickens clucking]
Thank you.
For what you done.
Now, look, don't go saying
nothing about what happened
to Dee and them boys, all right?
Ain't gonna do nobody
no good round here.
Specially on Caddy.
Abner don't want her
finding out what happened, so... far as
anybody need to know,
them boys just
went on ahead of us.
That the truth, right?
Look, Abner gonna give you
a few days to get right.
Said it ain't just
that a soldier be hid out
while there's fighting
still to be done.
And I quite agree with him.
No. Look at me.
Look, if I go back,
I'll be buzzard's meat
the way I am.
I won't last
one goddamn skirmish.
[hesitates] I-- If you milk it,
I can get a few days
before Abner come down
hard on your butt.
Then it's best you go.
-Breathe, boy, breathe.
-Yeah, I'm fine.
-Damn son of a bitch. Ah.
-Hey. Hey.
-Goddamn. Set me down here.
-Hey. Look.
I ain't normally like this.
You ain't normally getting
toe up like that either.
I know you ain't yellow.
You sure got an old mama.
I never know my mama.
Abner found me
while I was running north.
And since I has been here,
so become hard
to get too far away.
And Caddy, she never had
any babies of her own,
so she ain't got
no Mammy or no Pappy.
She gonna find you.
Make you hers.
And Dee was her favorite.
That's why
we're not going around
singing about what happened,
you hear?
Sammy. Come on out here
and help me, baby.
How come no one's
found you out here?
Soil ain't fertile.
Ain't much reason for nobody
to come round these parts.
See Abner, he, he's a free man.
He bought his freedom
and this, this godforsaken land
by hiring out.
Most slaves, they ran off
when the war broke out.
So you's a slave then.
You see chains on me?
While Massa round here
barking orders?
I ain't been no slave
since I ran out that plantation.
I'm doing the Lord's work
ever since.
[soft instrumental music]
How many fights you see, Will?
Uh, shoot...
...I reckon 11 or 12.
Damned if I see no Negro
with 12 fights...
...sure got us
digging them graves though.
Yeah, well, I guess everybody
gotta prove themselves.
Prove themselves?
Do you expect we want this war?
No, I'm just saying that...
Well, this is new for everybody.
It's not new.
We've been in chains
by your people
for a hundred years.
What's all this fussing
out here? Stop it.
A war
that destroyed enough lives,
Lord knows I ain't letting it
come in here
around me like this.
Y'all won't see me turn.
These old legs
still kick like a mule.
Well, where you is off to?
Sorry, Missus.
Must have lost my manners.
Excuse me, Master Sir.
I has got to spring a leak.
May I's go unattended
to prove myself to you,
Master Sir?
Them is your brothers in chains
you mocking.
You so sharp and quicker
than a white man I know,
but deep down inside,
you ain't nothing
but a hither nigger
with a loose tongue.
Them boys
fighting for the cause.
Bloodied for it.
While we at it, Dee even gone up
and join with them Yanks,
and here you is.
When you going off
and fighting like Dee, huh?
You such a man.
Now, when you going off
and fighting like Dee?
[soft instrumental music]
[soft harmonic music playing]
That Kitch?
[harmonica music]
He's a good boy.
He just needs
some time to hisself.
You best make it right
with him before...
I see five or six
of them paddyrollers
wandering over
this side of the mountain.
Best be careful now.
I don't know
what Kitchum was thinking
bringing that damn
white boy here.
He ain't helping nothing
or no one.
Ain't always about
what's helping the herd, Abner.
Ellis, that soldier
ain't nothing but trouble.
[dramatic music]
One of the big bucks got away.
Jake's coming for stragglers.
He will track him.
You know, when I was a boy,
I worked the fields
from dark to dark like you.
Hands would... crack and bleed.
Thought my back would break
from towing all that timber.
When I come home... daddy would whoop me
like some wild beast
near every damn night.
Turn my shirt blood red.
Just like this. [sniffles]
They say...
...on the inside...
...ain't much different.
That despite
the color our skin...
...we all bleed the same.
You know...
...I pity you folks somewhat.
-I do.
-Boss, we found her.
Yeah. And she pretty too.
Your Massa
really wants you back.
He's paying $800 to...
to find you.
You're gonna have
to keep on catching me
'cause I ain't gonna
never stop running.
Well, yeah.
You run across that river,
any direction, 50 miles,
well, I'm gonna find you.
You run 100 miles...
...someone else just like me
gonna find you.
You go like that all the way
to the end of the Earth.
Well, I'll tell you
how it's gonna be.
First one of you niggers
make it to the other side
of that river... a free man.
-God, not you!
[dramatic music]
[man 9 whooping, laughs]
-You're free.
How that feel, huh?
How that feel?
-[Nora] I'm gonna get you.
-[Sammy] No, you're not.
[Nora and Sammy]
One, two, three,
four, five, six,
seven, eight,
-nine, ten.
-[laughing and chattering]
-[Sammy] You can't get me.
-[Nora] Sammy.
-[Nora] You can't get me.
-[Sammy] Bet I will.
[soft instrumental music]
I bet I catch the next one.
Boy, this is my river.
Ah, these fish in here
know me by damn name.
Don't just stare.
You so sure, shake my hand.
Why are you laughing
like some ugly little pig?
[laughs] You got my spit
in your hand. That's why.
Who the hell
shakes another man's hand
wet with saliva?
I don't know. I thought
it was something white folk did.
Oh, yeah. There's a fool
made every minute, huh?
Jeez, I ain't got
the pock or nothing.
Well, how am I supposed to know
what you got?
Oh, that's my fish.
-Oh, no the hell it ain't.
What the hell?
[grunts] Here we go.
-You fooling?
Yeah. There.
Ladies and gentlemen,
introducing William,
Flatwoods' biggest chumpy.
Come on, Willie.
Wanna eat these
before morning come.
Uh, yeah, I'm coming.
[groans softly]
Where you been?
You been gone all day.
Yeah. [grunts]
Little Miss Mary here
act like she ain't know
how to walk right.
-Why you all dressed up for?
-'Cause we're going
out this evening. That's why.
Now go and get ready.
The sun's almost down.
Don't you worry about that.
Clean up.
Going out?
Jubilee, Jubilee
Oh, my Lord
Jubilee in the morning
Our Lord Jubilee
Shout my children
you are free
Oh, my Lord
-Who are all these people?
-My family.
Jubilee in the morning
Oh, my Lord
Jubilee in the evening
Our Lord Jubilee
[laughter and chatter]
[chattering stops]
This angel's name is William.
Lord, don't you know
he's fighting for the Union?
[cheering and chatter]
You gonna just stand there
looking lost?
Best eat some food
before it gone.
-[singing continues]
-[chatter and laughter]
Oh, Lord Jubilee
Don't care
what you taught me
Oh, my Lord
Oh, you know Jesus love me
Our Lord Jubilee
Jubilee, Jubilee
Oh, my Lord
Jubilee in the morning
My Lord Jubilee
[chatter and laughter]
Jubilee, Jubilee
Oh, my Lord
-Our Lord Jubilee
So what do you think?
I've never seen
so many Negroes in all my life.
[chuckles] You all sure laugh
more than hyenas do.
-Yeah, what's wrong with that?
No, nothing. It just...
It makes me happy.
Happier than I been
in a long time.
Jubilee in the morning
-Oh, come on, Willie.
-What is it?
Ain't gonna know
till you take a little swig.
-Oh, boy.
-You all right. You all right.
-It's heavyweight.
-It ain't gonna kill you.
-Woah, God.
-Yeah. That's what we call
"Oh Be Joyful."
[rhythmic tapping]
-Lord, give a...
-I want to blow
your trumpet
-There's a lot
that you can handle
-Lord, you wake my people
-We're having it easy
-Oh, blow your trumpet
-Midnight hour
-Midnight hour
-The Lord gave us
-The Lord gave us
-Goddamn blow
-Goddamn blow
-Blow that trumpet
-Blow that trumpet
-Sure, the Lord
will light up
-Sure, the Lord
will light up
-Sure, the Lord...
-Sure, Lord
-Wake my people
-Thy Lord...
-Thy Lord...
-Blow that trumpet
-Blow that trumpet
[soft instrumental music]
Y'all must be tired
after all that excitement.
Lord, Lord, Lord...
...look at my two mens.
One's as beautiful
and soul-penetrating
as the night.
Another one's as soft
and smooth as cream.
[chuckles] What?
Hey, Willie,
if you was an Injun,
your name would be Cow Udders.
-[chuckles] What the hell?
Cow udders,
like, like the titty,
'cause that's
where milk come from.
what's the matter with you?
Well, Mama, y-- you say
he was soft, uh, a-- as cream.
-That's where
the milk come from.
-Cow udders?
-[Kitch] Yeah.
Child, come now, come.
-[Caddy exclaims]
-[Caddy laughs]
-I'm sorry. It's funny.
It's funny.
Oh, God. Come here, child.
[tense music]
My word, Ellis. What is it?
Just got word.
Our parcel's lost.
Can't find the depot.
Ab does not fit tonight.
I was hoping
Kitchum might have himself
a small fire in the wood.
If the passenger see the fire,
Kitchum may send them
to the station.
Yes, sir.
We need you out till dawn.
Ellis, a fire ain't safe
in them woods.
Too many eyes around.
All's we can do for now, Caddy.
Ain't no other way.
Yes, sir.
What was all that about?
We help to run
the railroad, Will.
Taking slaves up north,
freedom's land.
Abner, Caddy,
they both do the work.
Cooking, cleaning, sowing.
Me, I take them ten miles
up the Hyrum Williams'
He take them on
to the next station.
Yeah, well, I'm coming.
All right.
-Just don't slow me down.
-[Caddy] You gonna take
a wounded white boy
in them woods and start a fire?
I know you're not that foolish.
All the fighting's out east.
Plus, ain't no paddyrollers
tracking nobody
in these parts, so...
I would just be
sitting by a fire is all.
Plus, William's a soldier.
Might be wounded,
but he ain't down.
It'll be all right.
I wish I had a conviction
like you, Kitch.
You a soldier in the cause,
ain't you?
A soldier.
Tell me,
what is one damn soldier
gonna do in this war...
...let alone
some backwoods slave?
Some Black men I remember...
...with a silent tongue,
clenched teeth...
...steady eye
and a well-poised bayonet.
And he help mankind
along this great consummation.
Yeah, what'd a Negro know
about anything, anyway?
Well, you must have got yourself
confused or something.
The whole world's
got itself confused.
Whites owning Negroes like they,
like they pack animals.
Like they more valuable
than us.
Come on, Will. I know
you don't think like that.
You better than that, boy.
I'm Yank, okay. Now, of course
I ain't confused.
Will, look at me.
We equal.
You know that, right?
-It's just--
-Just what?
This war
ain't about slavery, Kitch.
It's about reclaiming the Union.
Making things whole again.
They got you
all jostled up, don't they?
Slavery ain't right, Kitch.
And you know I know that.
I hope this war
frees your people. I really do.
But ain't slavery
helping you some?
I mean, it's got you this far.
It's made you the man you are.
There's bound to be
some good in it.
Half the damn country
is fighting for it.
[slow instrumental music]
Look what slavery's did for me.
Look at me, Will.
-Look at me!
Every scar Master give you
on the outside,
he'd give you
a hundred more on the inside.
Black man ain't nothing
but a cow or a dog
or a fucking work mule.
A nigger!
What happened?
Master Morris come home...
...drunk as Christmas morning.
He catch me in his study.
I was charged with closing down
the house every night.
That harmonica was just
laying on the floor.
So I picked it up and I...
...I wanna play one note.
[Master Morris]
It's my harmonica.
Just one note.
But you...
...had to go put
your nigger lips all over it.
Now it's ruined.
How was it, boy, huh?
You got the music in you?
I'll make you sing. Get up.
[grave instrumental music]
[muffled whipping]
[muffled whipping]
[muffled whipping]
I can feel the dirt
around me getting wet.
I don't remember him
dousing me with no water.
Master Morris kept screaming
for me to say something.
I ain't say a damn word.
"You like that, boy?
You gonna play some now?
When I come to...
...Morris is gone.
His boys
was herded up round me.
Laughing and spitting on me.
I didn't care none just as long
as their cat-o'-nine-tails
wasn't working on me.
That's when I felt lightning...
...just shooting
through my body.
He was rubbing
salt and pepper grains into me.
Beating me was
punishment, he say.
This is so I don't forget.
I don't know what to say.
Ain't nothing to say.
But that's why
we're gonna win this war.
'Cause we got cause to.
We got a reason to win.
Ain't no hiding the truth, Will.
[sniffles] No matter
what any man does
or-- or anybody think,
the truth
is just waiting to be found,
and goddamn it, we found it.
God's in this fight.
God's in this fight.
[soft instrumental music]
[clouds rumbling]
[somber music]
Just a bad dream, that's all.
-Oh, look...
Tell me something, boy.
What you doing
out here in these woods
all alone tonight?
You wouldn't be out
looking for monkeys, would you?
You seen this runaway?
Uh, no, sir.
What about this big old ape?
This here
king of all the niggers.
Mighty grayback himself,
Ellis Freeman.
I can tell
he's a special kind of nigger.
Named himself "Freeman."
He been stealing slaves
off every plantation
from here to Mississippi.
They were stating
the Confederacy after him.
[tense music]
[clicks tongue]
I don't know why,
but you smell like a nigger.
You been
helping niggers, boy?
Well, shoot. [scoffs]
We in the South, boys.
Can't smell nothing
but nigger. [chuckles]
The truth is, I'm out here alone
because I was meant to meet
my lady friend Janey out here,
but, uh...
Well, she didn't show, so...
I tell you what?
I see your girl tonight...
...I'm gonna make sure
she gets back to you
in one piece.
-How about that?
Let's go bring the horses.
[exhales] Kitch.
Hey, Kitch!
I thought you was a goner.
Hey, hey, hey.
What you doing?
Making sure
they don't come back.
What about the slave, Kitch?
Ain't no use
in saving those slaves
if we dead, all right?
Come on.
[twig snaps]
[whistles back]
-[whistles back]
You Boone?
All right then.
We best get hoofing.
That sun's coming up quick.
How I know who you is?
You got your ticket, ain't you?
Besides, seeing as how
we've been waiting out here
all night for you... got
a pretty easy decision.
Keep walking around broad day
until one of these paddyrollers
finds you...
...or follow after us.
You seen the others I with?
Just you.
You coming?
You gonna be able to keep up?
I ain't got no peg legs.
I'm just sore.
Damn, boy.
I was looking for a yes.
Ain't cripple in the morning.
[William mutters]
[birds chirping]
[background chatter]
[Charlotte, softly] Kitchum.
Well, what are you doing here?
I thought you were off with Dee
and the rest of them boys.
Just, um, tending
to a few things, Miss Charlotte.
Is your daddy home?
Uh, yes.
Yes. I'll go fetch him for you.
Uh, hey, what did you mean
earlier about a, a ticket?
It's a genuine ticket to ride
all the way to Heaven.
Promised Land.
So, yeah, you got
one of these, my boy... got angels
watching over you.
Even God's protection.
So who are these
fine young gentlemen?
Well, that there's William.
And this here is Mr. Boone.
Let's get you some food.
Yeah. Surely you must be hungry.
Charlotte, you get
this good man inside and...
...find him a meal.
Well, I, uh...
I heard what happened, Kitchum.
I want you to know
I'm awful sorry.
Boys best be extra careful
out there. You hear me?
Yeah, well,
we best be getting back.
Would you fetch John?
Have him bring up the mule
and some dried goods?
Oh, yeah.
Don't you mind Jackson. He's...
...he's new around here.
He's not used to being free.
You boys take that mule over
to Abner and Caddy
as soon as you can, would you?
Tell them hello from me now,
won't you?
-It was nice
to meet you, William.
-Um, yes, sir.
Take care, boy.
-Thank you.
-He all yours.
Yes, come on.
You know,
if it weren't for your color...
...I'd think y'all's kinfolk.
Oh, we look like brothers?
-I ain't that ugly.
-Well, that's the first time
you done saying something funny.
-[William] Watch my leg.
-I got scared
that you was actually
-turning into a grumpy old man.
It is hotter than hell out here.
You swim?
All right. I'll make you a deal.
You teach me how to swim,
and I teach you
to play the harmonica.
[scoffs] You straight shooting?
-Okay then.
Okay, look,
first thing you gotta know
is you gotta swim
with your feet like this.
I-- I can't, I can't see
what you doing.
Well, that's why
I'm telling you to sit here,
right next to me.
-Right here.
So, you move your legs
back and forth like this.
You move your arms
back and forth like that.
-How do I go make me float?
-Like this.
[William chuckles]
[Kitch gasps] Damn! Boy, I--
Lesson one if you learn
how to swim is to get wet.
I'm gonna kill you. [gasps]
Okay, swim to me. Swim to me.
I can't swim.
Drive on. Drive on.
There you go.
Look, you move. You can do it.
Kick your legs. Move your feet.
-[Kitch] I'm gonna die!
-No, you ain't. That's it.
-Come on. Move your legs.
-[Kitch] I'm gonna die, boy!
You're doing it!
You're doing it!
[laughs] Yeah!
I got it. Oh,
I'm gonna still kill you though.
-I'm gonna still kill you.
-You still dead.
[both laughing]
You gonna kill me?
-I'm gonna kill you, boy.
-Yeah, okay.
-Hey, Kitch.
-You're welcome. [laughs]
[whoops loudly, laughs]
Good boy.
[tense music]
Well, I'll be damned...
...if it ain't
little Casanova hisself.
I, in my whole life, ain't never
seen you in these woods once.
Just the time
I'm hunting me
some fugitive Negroes.
I seen you twice in one day.
I was just on my way
back from the market.
Which side you favoring?
Which side you favoring?
I don't know who you is,
but I ever see you
in my woods again,
I gonna gut you.
Bring the mule.
[spurs horse on]
We got our hands dirty.
Oh, there's a flower.
[insects chirping]
Lord, what spooked you?
Had a scare with some bad men.
We got real scared.
Everybody best be
on their high guard.
-These slave runners
hunting around.
Ain't no man...
except the good Lord hisself.
I'm gonna go fetch some supper
and bring it out to you.
You best get packed up.
You, you can't stay
around here no more.
It's no matter. He ready.
No, I ain't ready. I...
I ain't right yet.
Them slaves
you trying to help...
...they gonna be captured
and slaughtered
before they get to freedom.
You wanna help them?
Strap on your Union blues,
and shoot
every grayback you see.
You know, Abner...
...William ready.
He just wanna make sure
he right before he leave.
Yeah, he's been sour on me
since I got here.
No, that's just Abner.
Hell, he soft on you.
Well, at least you got
a few more days
before you get back to fighting.
Or close to...
How about you teach me
to play that harmonica?
-What, now?
-Yes, sir.
I need to learn
so I can impress myself a lady.
Oh. [scoffs]
Well, Willie,
not trying to be mean, but...
...I don't think you can
impress a lady after she get
a look at your face.
-Oh, is that right?
-Yeah, yeah, yeah.
-Oh, oh! Oh.
-Okay. Oh.
-[William] Yah. Come on!
-[Kitch] Okay, I...
-[William] Help me!
-[Kitch] I'm not...
-[Kitch] Oh, oh, oh, oh.
-[William] There you go.
-[Kitch] Let me go.
-[William] Go sleep, Kitch.
-[Kitch] Oh, okay.
Look, I'm not fighting
no cripple...
Oh, you best start, my boy,
'cause this cripple
whooping your ass.
-[Kitch] All right.
-Oh, there you go.
-[Kitch] All right.
-Oh, you ain't
even trying, Kitch.
-[Kitch] That's it. Okay.
-[William] Okay, here we go.
[laughter, screaming]
[soft instrumental music]
[tense music]
Just got paid visit
from our boy.
Says Hyrum Williams
down in Cottonwood...
...using his plantation
to hide out that runaways
we was looking for.
-You sure about that?
-That ain't the best part of it.
Says two men... that slave.
A white man with a nigger.
Said Hyrum Williams
gave a mule as payment.
[scoffs] That boy...
...he's a Yankee.
You find out who else
working with Hyrum Williams.
We ain't gonna
take care of it now?
Um, mm-mm.
We kill one little rat... of them catch wind,
run off, find a new home.
I'm gonna bring out
all the vermin.
Burn them all at once.
No more rats.
[Jake chuckles]
You let them boys know.
The Yankee... mine.
[insects chirping]
[Caddy humming]
Children go
where I send thee
How shall I send thee?
Do the other one.
I'll take that.
-[William] You take this?
-[Caddy] Yeah.
[William sighs]
There you go.
We're gonna put it up there,
let the sun make it brand-new.
I know you must miss
your family, honey.
-Course I do.
-Yeah, your mama?
Good having help. [chuckles]
-Happy to help.
-Thank you, baby.
I don't want Abner to know, uh,
Kitchum was...
but, you know, I don't be
feeling my best all the time.
I been needing
a little help around here.
-Don't stop, now!
[chuckles] Okay.
Lord, some people
you can't give a compliment to.
[Caddy humming]
[upbeat harmonica music]
[laughs] See, well, you hold
your lips like this, right?
And then you blow here.
[plays note]
Like that sound.
And when you blow here...
[plays notes]
...same sound.
Yeah, you look like an imbecile
with your lips like that.
-Yeah, this is useless.
You're never actually
gonna teach me how to play.
No, you just stupid, is all.
[laughs] Yeah.
The sound look like
an ugly blonde woman
I'm trying to swim.
"Help me, Will!
Hell, save me, please!
I'm drowning!"
-Get off me. Get off me.
Say, Kitch.
What made you and Dee
stop and help me
at the creek that day?
All the whining you was doing,
whole Reb army
would have found you, and us.
-He had no choice.
-No, I'm serious.
I been going
over and over in my head.
I can't quite figure it.
You must have passed
plenty of hurting men that day
asking for help.
We came across you quite sudden.
Blind truth, you scared me.
I gave you a quick look
up and down,
and I wrote you off.
You opened your eyes.
And you looked right at me.
I don't know. Something,
something about that look
just felt familiar.
And it felt like...
Yeah, it's funny.
-It the truth.
-No, it's funny 'cause...
[soft music]
After the fight,
I was... hurting real bad.
[scoffs] I saw my mama.
I could reach out and touch her.
That's when I started
to feel death pulling at me.
After a while,
it started to feel nice, so...
...I asked God if he would
take me home to Him.
That's when I opened my eyes
and saw you boys
standing over me.
Looks like Ellis'll be needing
our help building another fire.
[soft instrumental music]
Oh, watch the stars
see how I run
Oh, watch the stars
see how I run
If the star run down
in the west downhill
You ought to watch the stars
see how I run, everybody
Watch the stars
see how I run
Oh, watch the stars
see how I run
If the star run down
in the west downhill
Watch the stars
see how I run
-[male chants]
-Watch the stars
see how I run
Oh, watch the stars
see how I run
If the star run down
in the west downhill
Oh, watch the stars
see how I run
And the day
is past and gone
The evening shadow appear
Oh, may we all
remember well
The night of death
drawing near
-[Nora] You like hunting?
-[William] Hunting?
Uh, yeah, sure.
You've been hunting?
-I killed about
two rabbits or so.
-Two rabbits?
[laughs] What, you telling me
you killed two rabbits?
You like them guns? Shooting?
-[laughs] Do I like them guns?
[laughs] I don't know.
Uh, I guess.
You know, you gotta
protect yourself, right?
So everybody's gotta learn
how to use a gun.
Abner says if I ever touch
a gun in that house,
I'm getting a big whooping.
[laughs] Yeah.
Yeah, I don't doubt that.
Yeah, I wouldn't wanna
get a whooping off Abner,
I'll tell you that.
-I'm waiting for one.
What about the war?
Your experience with it?
Everybody's gotta be a man,
do their part.
I don't know, I guess
this war's part of that... I'm doing my part.
[soft instrumental music]
I see them troubles
on your mind.
This war was supposed
to change me.
I left Lewis lying there
all alone.
Boy, you take one thing
from Ellis Freeman. Take this.
There ain't no rules in war.
They gonna tell you there is.
There ain't.
Some fight with the gun...
...some with the chain.
But only real war there is
is with the mind.
You win that fight,
and there ain't
no other fight left.
But long as you
wrestling your mind, boy,
you more slave
than them field niggers.
You win your mind, you free.
[soft instrumental music]
[William sighs]
-[William] Ah.
-[Kitch] Mm.
[Kitch grunts]
Ellis is late as usual.
[both groan]
Ooh. Whoa. Ooh, that's a stink.
You started on this fighting.
Yeah, you stink.
That's why I sleep upwind.
Yeah, well,
if I be needing a bath...
[grunts] be needing one too.
Come on.
-Ah, it's cold out here.
-Come on, it's good for you.
Ah, ooh, damn, damn.
Ooh. Come on.
You gonna wash the stink
off you, Kitch. Come on.
Yeah, just get it.
-Oh! Hell no.
-Come on, just
take the stink off.
I-- I'll wait. Uh, you get
as clean as you want.
-Whoa, Kitch.
-Stop it, Willie.
-[William] Damn.
[dramatic music]
Who else you got here, hm?
-Think that
I'll let it run away?
We darn already got him.
I'm gonna ask you one last time.
Where... hiding...
...the rest of those... apes?
[tense music]
How about that?
You got some more spit for me?
A little?
No more spit?
[screams, groans]
We know that's your railroad.
You know what this is?
What about
a little porch monkey?
What have you...
Son, there's worse things
than dying.
No, we didn't threaten him.
Did we, son?
We didn't threaten you.
We just paid him a little.
Now, Mr. Freeman... gonna die knowing
all your efforts were in vain.
-We gonna kill...
-[gun cocks]
...everyone you love.
[Ellis mumbles a prayer]
[somber music]
How much we'd pay you?
[gun cocks, gunshot]
[dramatic music]
We're gonna hunt you down
like dogs!
You hear?
Turner, mark the spot.
Coming back for the body.
[both panting]
Swing low
Sweet chariot
Coming for to carry me home
W-- What happened?
-They killed Ellis.
-[Caddy] What?
-[Abner] What?
-[Caddy] Who?
Slave runners and his men.
-[Kitch] They know
about the railroad.
We gotta make it
to Hyrum Williams' plantation.
-[Caddy] Boy, you better
leave my clothes alone.
-[Kitch] Mama, we gotta go.
What you doing?
Making it look like
don't nobody live here.
-What's happening, Mama?
-[Caddy] What?
-Willie, come
and take this inside.
Abner! Oh.
-Kitchum, wait.
-Willie, grab the clothes.
Abner, stop them.
Oh! Kitchum!
[gasps] Oh.
Stop it!
Stop it, Kitchum.
I ain't leaving this house.
This is my home.
And ain't no war, no monster,
no crazy white man
gonna pluck me from it.
I's got children
all over this land.
And when we's all's free,
this is where they coming.
-I ain't leaving.
Not for a minute.
-Look, Caddy--
This damn war
done ripped my family up.
But as God is my witness,
I ain't gonna let it destroy it.
I ain't leaving, you hear me?
I ain't going!
They killed Dee!
Billy, Zachariah,
all of them dead.
He shot them in front of me.
And we gotta go.
[sobs] Oh, no.
[sentimental music]
Nora, tell Caddy you love her.
We leaving.
No. Give me back my baby. No!
[crying] No. No!
-What you doing, Kitchum?
-[Kitch] L-- Look.
You tearing my family up!
-Can't you see
I'm trying to save us?
-[Caddy] No!
-[Kitch mutters]
You take care of the children...
-...and make sure
that they're safe.
-[Caddy crying]
Just like you seeing us do.
You're a fine man, Kitch.
A fine man.
[Caddy cries and shouts]
What we gonna do?
Master Hyrum gonna
hide you all out a few days
and get you
on to freedom's land.
Uh, we can't be
leaving them alone like that.
Look, it's either them
or Nora and Sammy.
Can't be both.
It's time that you start
acting more like a soldier
and less like a little boy.
There's a fight coming.
We gonna be ready.
Well, I'm coming with you then.
I'm ready to fight.
You see that baby
there on your back?
You gonna leave him?
He need you more than
any fight need you.
You got charge over him.
Come on, Willie.
We gotta keep moving.
I ain't been
in no 12 fights, Kitch.
I runned off
my first skirmish.
I wasn't injured
fighting neither.
I stabbed myself with a bayonet
so that I could play dead.
Look, I wanted to tell you,
but I didn't know how.
I-- I, I'm not a warrior
like you are,
-You damn right you not!
You a coward.
Mama say family
ain't supposed to fight.
No, he ain't your family,
Nora. I am.
He don't care about you.
Can't you see?
He running from all this.
Only reason why he stay is
'cause we been feeding him
and taking care of him
like some suckling baby.
-You ain't nothing
but a damn leech.
-Oh, K -- Kitch.
Don't come near me!
'Cause I swear I'm about
to do something I'll regret.
And that's the Lord's truth,
Willie. That's the Lord's truth!
What we gonna do?
You staying at Hyrum's.
I'm going back for them.
Now hush up.
How shall I send thee?
I'm gonna send thee
two by two
Two for the Hebrew children
Born, born
They were born in Bethlehem
[breathing heavily]
Children go
where I send thee
How shall I send thee?
I'm gonna send thee
Two by two
[Caddy sobbing]
[Caddy humming]
He was born in Bethlehem
[somber music]
[breathing heavily]
This him?
[breathing heavily]
This that nigger what stuck you?
Yeah, that's him.
...I been looking for you
for some time.
[scoffs] Now, you tell me where
you're hiding the Yankee...
...and this will be over
real quick.
You best tell me
'fore I burn that heap down
with that old dusty hen
still in it.
[labored breathing]
[slow instrumental music]
Ugh. [groaning]
[ragged breathing]
-[gun cocks]
-[Silas] Where is he?
[heavy breathing]
I know you're out there.
I know you're out there hiding.
Bring him.
[fire crackling]
[heavy breathing]
[instrumental music]
Ah. Ah. Caddy!
[insects chirping]
[tense music]
[Kitch gags]
[Kitch grunting]
[groans and gasps]
-What's that?
-What you saying?
-You talking to me?
[gasps, breathing heavily]
[Kitch pants] He ain't coming.
He left the fight two days back.
You best pray he gonna come.
Almighty God is my witness,
you best start praying.
Don't you touch him,
you son of a bitch!
I'll kill you,
you piece of shit!
Don't you dare touch him!
I'll kill you,
you snaky son of a bitch!
I'll kill you
with my bare hands!
I'll kill you.
Look at this big, brave Yank
been freeing my slaves.
Little Casanova.
Son of a bitch.
And you got gumption, boy.
I'll give you that.
I tried saving Caddy, Kitch.
I tried.
Fire ain't kill her.
She dead long 'fore that.
Right, Jake?
That's right.
I stabbed that witch
just like you stabbed me.
-Eye for an eye.
[Kitch gasping, groaning]
[William groans]
Stop it.
Stop it. You'll kill him.
Stop it!
Stop it!
Turner, that's enough.
Get him up.
-[Jake] But, boss...
-I said get him up!
[somber music]
This all feels
terribly unfair on you.
You having to watch
these horrible men...
...torture this poor Negro
to death.
So I'm gonna let you...
...put him out his misery.
Spare him all that pain.
Please. Please, please, please!
Only one shot,
so don't go... push down.
[sentimental music]
I love you
like a brother, Kitchum.
[gun clicks]
Damn, Turner!
He really don't like you, do he?
Hm. "I love you
like a brother, Kitchum."
-[Kitch groans]
The only thing worse
than a nigger
-is a real white boy...
...thinking he is nigger.
Look at you.
Look at you.
Betraying your own kind.
You got me. Set him free.
-You hear that, Turner?
He say set him free.
So go on then.
Set him free!
You gonna watch the last breath
leave his chest.
[panting, gagging]
[dramatic music]
Behind you!
No, no, no, no, no.
No, no, no, no.
I got myself money.
[gasps] You buy yourself
some freedom.
I am a free man, boy.
[William groans]
[instrumental music]
-[Kitch] Willie.
-Hey, hey, hey. Hey, hey, hey.
-Hey, hey, hey.
Hey, hey, hey, hey.
-No, no!
Hey, I'll tell you.
I'll tell you, okay?
I'm gonna,
I'm gonna fix you up, okay?
-I'm gonna fix you up, Kitch.
Okay, okay.
J-- just, just hold tight, okay?
No-- Nora, see, W-- Will--
William gonna take
y'all back to Isaac, okay?
He gonna get you
to freedom's land.
You-- you take care
of your brother.
-I'm gonna get them there,
Kitch, okay,
but they're expecting you too.
[ragged breathing]
Take, take care of this for me,
all right?
Just, just for a little while.
You my brother.
[groans] Okay?
[sobs] Kitch.
[heavy breathing]
Don't you do it, Kitch.
Don't you!
Don't you do it, Kitch.
Come on, Kitch!
[sobs] Don't leave me
here, Kitch.
Don't you do it, Kitch.
Don't you do it!
Don't leave me here, Kitch.
Don't leave me!
[sighs] Come on, Kitch. Come on.
[sentimental music]
[Nora crying]
We ready for him now.
He gonna rest with Henry.
[man 10]
It ain't right to leave him
out here all exposed, you know?
Come on, Nora.
It's what I owe him.
[slow instrumental music]
[instrumental music]
Singing, oh, good Lord
I want you to help me
Oh, Lord
I want you to help me
Yeah, Lord
Yeah, help me on my journey
Oh, help me on my way
Ah, ah, oh, oh, Lord
I want you to help me
Singing oh, oh, Lord
I want you to help me
Whoa, oh, Lord
I want you to help me
Yeah, Lord, yeah
Help me on my journey
Lord, help me on my way
Ah, ah, oh, oh, Lord
I want you to help me
[sentimental music]
Follow the river north
till the forest...
...then you head west.
You'll run into a small depot.
Tell them
Hyrum Williams sent you.
When I tread
the verge of Jordan
Bid all my anxious fears
Bear me through
the swelling current
Land me safe
on Canaan's side
I am weak
But Thou art
Hold me with
Powerful hand
Bread of
Bread of
Feed me
Till I want
No more
Bread of Heaven
Oh, bread of
Sometimes when I fall
into one of them deep sleeps...
...I can hear their voices
calling out to me.
I open my eyes...
...I look for them...
...but they ain't never there.
[train chugging]
They left me long ago
for that Promised Land.
[slow instrumental music]
They live on in the deepest
recesses of my memory.
Imprinted on my heart,
and intertwined
in the very fibers of my soul.
I wait patiently for the day
God will reunite me
with my brother.
Until that day comes...
...I will tell any soul
willing to listen...
...about my brother...
...who led me down
freedom's path.
[instrumental music]