John Henry and The Railroad

16 February 2013

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Do you like your tales tall? Then settle in for the story of John Henry and the Railroad.  John Henry is an American folk hero whose name and reputation has been used, over the years, in the struggle for Civil Rights and the Labor Movement.  We travel back to the 1870s to witness John, a freed slave, and his son apply for work as steel-drivers – a physically arduous task hammering out the railway lines and chiselling rock to create tunnels.

Yet even though John’s team looks like it will be successful in completing their contract something diabolical turns up – which will give John Henry the greatest challenge of his life.  This joyously created short movie dramatizes this encounter but it is as much a film about the relationship between father and son as it is the competition between man and machine.  It was created by Atlanta based Whitestone Motion Pictures and was written and directed by Brandon McCormick and produced by McCormick with Nicholas Kirk.  It stars E Roger Mitchell as John Henry with Michael Iluma as Young Jack Henry and Eugene H Russell as the narrator.

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