Antebellum comes from the producer of a famous racist series including Get Out, Us, or BlacKkKlansman. The film “molded” by co-director, screenwriter Gerard Bush and Christopher Renz promises to make viewers experience a horrifying nightmare of cruel reality.

Antebellum is not too confusing or twisting viewers’ minds like its predecessors, but have you decoded all the symbols that appear in the movie? Find out with!

The film shows the extreme tragic fate of the black class and the arduous journey that must change with tears, blood, and lives to return to the shore of happiness and freedom.

With a full cast of potential actors, beautiful frames, impressive background music, and unpredictable plot twist, the film has become a suitable choice for movie enthusiasts. While it can’t be as stellar as Gerard Bush and Christopher Renz’s films of the same theme, and the directing abilities of Gerard Bush and Christopher Renz aren’t quite as prominent, the film still presents an epochal concern that racism still exists and not completely removed.

Explain the title of the movie Antebellum

When you go to the movies, perhaps what you most wonder about is the name Antebellum. If Get Out or Us are metaphorical but can still (dimly) understand, then Antebellum even pronunciation is quite difficult. And the meaning of this movie also needs to apply deep historical knowledge.

First, let’s learn about the American Civil War (1861 – 1865). When Abraham Lincoln was elected president in 1860, he had an immediate desire to abolish slavery. For the sake of personal gain and superior dignity, 11 southern slave states declared their secession from the United States of America and formed the Southern Union.

Contents of the film Antebellum

Veronica – an African-American female writer and social activist, struggling for equal rights, is unfortunately dragged back to the past by a mysterious force in Antebellum’s past. Here, she became Eden’s slave working hard by day, and by night became the pastime of the white slave master.

It took four years of war, Lincoln could cause the South to surrender and read the Declaration of the Emancipation of Slaves, the whole United States no longer oppress and exploit slaves, they could live a dignified life like other people.

And the movie title is the name of the Antebellum era that took place before the civil war. This is the moment when slavery is in its harshest presence. The heroine Veronica was dragged back to this time, living her life as a real slave, always being whipped, humiliated and hard to change her fate.

If you look carefully at the poster, the title Antebellum has the letter “e” reversed compared to the other letters. Dark only appears characters are going back in time. The stylized image of the capital “e” is easily reminiscent of a trident’s nose – a sharp weapon that smells violence just by sight. In the process of farming on the plantations also appeared tools with this shape.

Butterfly image in Antebellum

The ancient butterfly image has implied the reincarnation of life and death. The bloody butterfly wings in the poster further prove that whether a character lives or dies, he must go through a bloody struggle.

The butterfly in psychology also implies healing, as is the case in the Korean movie It’s Okay to Not Be Okay. Maybe the trauma of a father from the past is somehow healed now. Like the way, the protagonist Veronica tried to bring an equal voice to repel racism as an influential writer and speaker in the modern world.

And the butterfly effect cannot be ignored with the key thesis: “A butterfly can flap its wings on a Chinese flower and cause a storm in the Caribbean”. All problems have the ability to link together in the direction of cause and effect to interact.

If the plantation owner oppresses the slaves, at some point they will erupt in the struggle. This butterfly effect message combined with the looping effect below underscores the filmmaker’s intentions.

Do you remember the outfit Veronica wore first? The colorful red-yellow dress with thick, ruffled black hair on the sides, she looks like the embodiment of an existing butterfly with all of the above meanings.

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Lipstick image

During the villain’s first conversation with the protagonist via the computer screen, she complimented Veronica’s lipstick color. Son is an important makeup item for women. Offering praise in an ironic situation means the other person is jealous of you. Veronica was terrified of that fake compliment so as soon as she turned off her computer screen, she tried to wipe off her lipstick.

Before kidnapping Veronica in the evil taxi, the female villain sneaked into the room and stole the lipstick. When she got in the car, she brushed lipstick on her lips in front of the heroine. This was no longer the usual jealousy, she was implying she would usurp everything Veronica had, including social status, fame, and freedom.

Loop Effect 

The film clearly divides the two supreme white and slave black character lines. The filmmaker offers a series of similar actions, at each different time, these two lines repeats the action with their own intentions. It was a loop effect, or to put it simply, whatever you do for me, I will do the same for you.

During the horrifying times of Antebellum, the slave strictly obeyed the law of “silence”, not making a sound without permission. The evil planter always used the excuse of hearing the sound to punish the whip on the slave’s small back. But when you go to the crematorium, you will see Veronica (then the slave of Eden) using the same slogan silently mocking the slave owner, before slamming the door and burning down the evil powers.

Are you still haunted by the scene where the savage white slave master throws his noose around the neck of a fleeing slave woman like trapping a beast on a hunt? He dragged the slave’s body behind the saddle.

During the escape segment, Veronica also repeated the same action with the slave master. She added the plain robe he wore as if suggesting that the slave had been dressed in self-control and had equal standing with the exploiters.

Or like a terrifying dinner when the South Vietnamese soldiers choose a black slave to entertain the night? This is not only sexual abuse of the slave owner on the slave but also shows gender inequality when the woman’s voice is taken lightly.

Fast-forward to modern times, Veronica’s group of friends behave the exact opposite. She can freely comment on men’s behavior and he only has an “obedient” way. On the taxi, she commented and wanted to “give up” with the guy. Who dares to say that women have no voice in modern times?

Spoiled details, revealing a plot twist

If the film is simply black slaves being suppressed and fighting back, Antebellum will probably just be a familiar humanistic movie that we have seen very well. much. But the film created a terrifying twist that shocked the audience and even felt more fear and disgust than the torture Veronica had endured.

The truth is that Veronica did not travel any time, she still lives in the real world, living in the era when gender equality is being raised, in an era when “slavery” is only a word appearing in a dictionary. And if you are observant enough, you will discover in the fierce plantation space appearing a few details that hint at this “horrifying reality” twist.

The main color of the film is a light sunset or a dark night as depicting an escape space besieging a slave. But when the sun broke out during the day, the tones turned clear with blue skies and white cotton fields.

Films set in the slavery period such as 12 Years a Slave, Django Unchained … often use the dominant nostalgia tone, with no obvious “phase difference” in color like Antebellum. In fact, this is also the intention of the filmmaker because this bright color only exists in the real world and there is no “time travel”.

The image of a black woman with a face filled with horror in the middle of the scene has become a “brand” for the movie like with Get Out is a boy screaming clinging to a chair, Us is a gloved hand holding scissors. Camera movement in this segment is very flexible, when the camera zooms in to detail the blue sky without a cloud of white clouds, the more you zoom, the more we see a small plane spreading its wings.

This modern plane, as a small hope of the heroine, will one day escape her imprisonment. The plane also appeared in Veronica’s daughter painting, as an omen for her liberation.

Mobile phones are the key point of the film to help the protagonist communicate with the outside world and it takes a lot of struggles with the villains to be able to hold the phone firmly. Before that, when the phone rang, the guards whispered to each other: “Is your phone vibrating? / No, I comply with the regulations not to use the phone here”.

The observant audience will immediately wonder why was there a fully functional mobile phone in the middle of the Antebellum era to introduce a ban on use? So, in essence, what is Antebellum? Is it really like what we know from the beginning of the movie?

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