Epic television miniseries exploring the complicated relationship of Thomas Jefferson and slave Sally Hemings, who conducted a 38 year love affair, spanning an ocean, ultimately producing children, grandchildren, and lots of controversy.
The story of the extraordinary, controversial thirty-eight-year relationship between Thomas Jefferson and his slave mistress, Sally Hemings. The teenage Sally begins her unexpected relationship with widower Thomas Jefferson in Paris where he is serving as the U.S. Ambassador to France. After escorting Jefferson's younger daughter on a trans-Atlantic journey to join him in Paris, Sally is soon exposed to a world quite unlike the one in which she has lived as an illiterate slave in Monticello. While Sally serves as a nanny of sorts, Jefferson provides her with an education, fine clothes and opportunities to experience cultural events. She and her brother, James, who works as Jefferson's chef and was also educated by him, delight in the fact that they are free in France-and are treated with respect. It is under these circumstances that Sally and Jefferson become acquainted with one another and begin an affair that will ultimately lead to scandal. Written by
Echo Bridge Home Entertainment
Early in the film, when Thomas Jefferson (Sam Neill) tells Sally Hemings (Carmen Ejogo) that she looks exactly like his deceased wife, this is a reference to Martha Wayles Skelton Jefferson being the half sister of Sally Hemings, sharing the same father, John Wayles. Martha was Wayles' acknowledged daughter by his first wife, Martha Eppes, and Sally was Wayles' daughter by his slave concubine, Betty Hemings (portrayed by Diahann Carroll), with whom he had six slave children. See more »
I liked this movie, I didn't love it, however. I don't think that the relationship between Sally and Jefferson was particularly startling, I don't understand why the relationship would be a shock to anybody. Slaves are people too, so of course, people can fall in love with a slave, it's not impossible. I happen to be a black girl who likes white men, shocking? I think not. I do think that this movie did not concentrate on family, enough, I wouldn't have expected Jefferson to have long chats with his biracial children, but Sally too hardly said anything to them. And I so wish that people would quit calling Sally Hemings black, or colored. Sally was white AND black, a simple blood test would show that. Most blacks don't choose to believe that blacks should be considered less than a whole human, but they'll go for that one-drop-of-black-blood crap in a second! Carmen Ejogo didn't play Sally as well as Thandie Newton did to me, but she did a fine job!
5 of 12 people found this review helpful.
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