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Details
Market June 6, 2012
Agent David Boxerbaum, Christopher Smith (Paradigm)
Manager Chris Cook, Adam Kolbrenner (Madhouse Entertainment)
Loglines
Runaway slave, Judah, outsmarts dirty politicians and faces his grim past as he embarks on a journey with lawman Colin to rescue the abolitionist governor candidate's daughter and clear his name.
In 1850s Kansas, an ex-slave turned outlaw must confront his tormented past by procuring a kidnapped woman from his former master in order to be granted his freedom.
A slave escapes the plantation and becomes an infamous bandit. He is caught and put to jail after 5 years on the loose, but has a chance at freedom when his ex-slave master kidnaps the town sheriff's potential wife.
Format
Genres
Action, Drama, Adventure, Period, Political, War, Western, Buddy, Film, Kidnap, Murder, Racially Based, Rescue, Vigilante
Pages
108
Rated
R
Budget
Medium
Lead
M Black 25 Fit
Similar
Django Unchained, The Good the Bad and the Ugly, Unforgiven
When
1846: one night 1856: a period of ten to fourteen days
Where
1% 1846: Missouri Plantation 99% 1856: Topeka Kansas town center, outer flat lands, canyon and river, trails and cave, Kaw Indian camp, and Missouri plantation

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Synopsis
After defending himself against the plantation owner’s son, and killing him, JUDAH (25) seeks out his love, CELIA (22). He suggests that this night be the one they make their escape. As they are running off the Missouri plantation, ATCHINSON (40’s) has spotted his dead son and takes aim at Judah and Celia – killing Celia. She drops an 1846 silver liberty dollar that Judah turns into a talisman he wears on his neck. Unable to swim across the river that surrounds the area, Judah climbs from tree to tree and escapes the plantation alone. After a decade, he has trained himself in the art of heists and robberies. People have come to call him The Black Bandit. His only accomplice is BRANDY, his black mustang which he cares for as deeply as any person could. Together they attempt to rob a Wells Fargo coach on its way into Topeka. However, it is not filled with money but rather ballots as a heated campaign is occurring with regards to Kansas becoming a state. Should it become a state, it will have the power to continue slavery or abolish it. Fighting for a free state is CHARLES ROBINSON (40’S) and his...
Reader 1 Comments
OVERALL (5)
A captivating piece of work. Superior in all aspects, it incorporates dirty politics with love and slavery in a way that keeps the momentum going without faltering. Judah is a caring runaway who has the rare opportunity to clear his record by helping find KC who has been kidnapped by an opposing politician. Paired with a white lawman who is in love with KC, the two contrast one another in a delightfully entertaining way. Their banter grows from violently opposed to each other to being “brothers” in the end, mirroring the storyline. The ruffians and preachers they encounter on their adventure are wound in seamlessly, tying every event together. Most notably are the “armed abolitionist freedom-fighters” (31.6). John Brown and his men first encounter Judah and Colin along a path. Brown and men are on their way into town as Colin and Judah are on their way out. They briefly exchange banter. Later, Brown is attempting to convince KC's father, Robinson, that they must be more forceful against the southern politicians. Robinson informs Brown of crates and kegs behind his house saying, “…you'll find two crates of Bibles and four barrels of wine. They were sent by Hank Beecher, another minister who shares your convictions” (46.5). The crate turns out to be filled with rifles, the barrels with gun powder (46.8)....
Reader 2 Comments
OVERALL (4)
An ex-slave turned outlaw in 1850s America is apprehended after years on the run and forced to confront the tortured truths of his past in order to attain his desired freedom. Judah is a protagonist who is both unrecognizable and daring from such a time period and features as a rare anomaly within the pre Civil War world of the American South. Self-empowered and quick with a gun, he desires an end to persecution and the freedom to live his own life. The subject matter of slavery is the primary through line and seeks to examine the growing dissension within the populace. When Judah is arrested after a bank heist, he is forced to aid a surly white sheriff in the recovery of a kidnapped woman. With the promise of a full pardon, Judah is forced to confront his tormented past and his former master who is behind the kidnapping and who turns out to be Judah’s own father. The stakes forever heighten Judah’s well developed character arc and keep the through line organic and true to the journey. By giving an old genre new life, it excels at delving into the depths of race and the complexities that abounded within the wild west....
Reader 3 Comments
OVERALL (4)
“Bleeding Kansas” is a powerful, uncensored account of a black man’s escape and survival from slavery during the abolitionist movement. The protagonist Judah becomes a bandit, who robs and gathers gold to move West and raise mares. His only love is his faithful stallion and his dream is to have actual freedom without being pursued as a slave nor a criminal. There is a strong variety of characters, as it takes place in an interesting period with extreme variation in political opinions. The backdrop is an election between pro-abolition Charles Robinson and southern conservative Governor Sherman. There are interesting subplots intertwined, stealing votes, Sherman kidnapping Robinson’s daughter, and a love interest between Robinson’s daughter and the town sheriff. The dialogue is humorous, though there could be more variation between the character’s voices. Overall, “Bleeding Kansas” is a piece with full potential for success, after a few adjustments in dialogue and originality....