Written and directed by four-time Oscar nominee Gary Ross, FREE STATE OF JONES was inspired by the life of Newton Knight and his armed rebellion against the Confederacy in Jones County, Mississippi during the Civil War.
McConaughey plays Newton Knight, a soldier for the Confederacy during the Civil War who becomes disillusioned with the South's cause.
He flees the battlefield, marries a former slave and defiantly declares a safe haven in Jones County. Surviving the 1862 Battle of Corinth, Knight leads a group of small farmers and local slaves in establishing a mixed-race community. They hide out in a swamp and hope to start life anew, free from harassment but the Confederate soldiers launch a determined search to hang any suspected traitors.
This is a thoughtful, fascinating film willing to confront the tangled aspects of both the war and Reconstruction as never before seen on film.