If you Google the word “microcosm”, the definition describes the movie Free State of Jones: “a community, place, or situation regarded as encapsulating in miniature the characteristic qualities or features of something much larger.” Jones County, Mississippi becomes representative of the situation throughout the South during and after the Civil War. Matthew McConaughey ought to be Oscar-nominated for this movie, I think. He plays a Confederate soldier turned deserter named Newton Knight, who is appalled by the unfairness of the exemptions which the wealthiest southerners get from fighting if they have at least 20 slaves. Because he’s willing to defend southerners who are being looted by Confederate soldiers, and also treats black people kindly, he inspires a following of both white and black supporters, and is willing to defend his black supporters in a scene where a white supporter tries to provoke strife (which likely happened in real life). After the war, he continues to be involved in fighting for racial equality. The movie is a very engrossing experience. The dialogue is really realistic and true to the era, including in the role which Christianity played in the community, and the movie uses captions to describe changes of locations and political events very effectively. Newton Knight feels relatable to an audience because he is just reacting, one choice at a time, to the things that are happening around him, and he chooses to defy an unjust government that’s not representing him, and repudiate its racist values, without any of those contrived scenes where he suddenly changes his values. He’s just a normal guy who is unusual for how willing he is to stand up for justice. There are several interesting scenes taking place in the 1940s where his descendant is also forced to take a stand for what he believes during a miscegenation (interracial marriage) trial. This movie ought to be shown in schools, and I hope it will be (the only part that may be too much for sensitive eyes is the opening battle scene), and also should've gottet Oscar attention and be viewed by many people.