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Watch the trailer for 'Harriet,’ based of the life of iconic Maryland abolitionist

Watch the trailer for 'Harriet,’ based of the life of iconic Maryland abolitionist
Cynthia Erivo plays Harriet Tubman in the upcoming film 'Harriet.' (Glen Wilson / Focus Features)

Harriet Tubman pants as she sprints through the woods in a powerful opening scene of the first official trailer for the feature film “Harriet” released Tuesday morning. The Focus Features biopic, based on the life of the Maryland-born freedom fighter, will premiere in theaters November 1.

The trailer, much like its opening scene, is full of action and suspense with the tag line “be free or die.” It follows Harriet Tubman, played by Grammy Award winner Cynthia Erivo, on her journey to freedom and the tribulations that came with it. Erivo performed with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra at their 2018 Gala Concert.

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“Based on the thrilling and inspirational life of an iconic American freedom fighter, HARRIET tells the extraordinary tale of Harriet Tubman’s escape from slavery and transformation into one of America’s greatest heroes,” said Focus Features in a statement below the trailer. “Her courage, ingenuity, and tenacity freed hundreds of slaves and changed the course of history.”

While some are anxiously anticipating its release, the film has received some backlash from others for its choice to cast a British actress for the starring role.

The trailer also stars actress and singer Janelle Monae and British actor Joe Alwyn.

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