“The most difficult film of my career”
The industry magazine “The Hollywood Reporter” has one Excerpt from Smith’s acceptance speech published. For him personally, “Emancipation” was the “most difficult film of my entire career,” said the actor. “It’s really difficult to put a modern mind into that time period. It’s difficult to imagine that level of inhumanity.”
The Apple TV+ film tells the story of escaped slave Peter (Smith) in 19th-century Louisiana. “Emancipation” is inspired by photographs of “Whipped Peter” – specifically a photograph published in 1863 showing the escaped slave’s back scarred by whipping. The distribution of the image made the US public aware of the brutality of slavery.