Pine Belt movie goers turn out for opening night of "Free State" - WDAM-TV 7-News, Weather, Sports-Hattiesburg, MS

Pine Belt movie goers turn out for opening night of "Free State"

The "Free State of Jones" opened at the UA Sawmill Square 5 Thursday night. Photo credit WDAM. The "Free State of Jones" opened at the UA Sawmill Square 5 Thursday night. Photo credit WDAM.
LAUREL, MS (WDAM) -

The long-awaited Hollywood movie about the Civil War in Jones County has opened in the Pine Belt.   

The UA Sawmill Square 5 in Laurel hosted the first showing of "Free State of Jones" Thursday night.   

It stars Matthew McConaughey and it tells the story of Newt Knight, a Jones County deserter who leads a rebellion against the Confederacy.

Dozens of people attended the first show and some were Knight's descendants.   

"Our cousin, Wyatt Moulds, was the historical consultant for (the film) and at our family reunion last weekend, he was telling us about it," said Linda Hollingsworth, a 5th cousin of Newt Knight. "And so, we're excited that we're going to get to see something that has to do with our family."

"I think it's good publicity for an area that maybe has had some negative publicity in the past, well for the State of Mississippi, it's good publicity for our state." said Ann Hollingsworth, another 5th cousin of Knight. 

The movie also opened in Hattiesburg Thursday. 

Copyright 2016 WDAM. All rights reserved.

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