Black Snake Moan is a film from 2006 that was directed and written by Craig Brewer. Filmed in Stanton, Tennessee, it starts Samuel L. Jackson, Christina Ricci, and Justin Timberlake. The plot, according to Brewer, is based loosely on the 1861 George Eliot novel “Silas Marner”.
In the movie, Samuel L. Jackson plays a character named Lazarus, a former blues guitarist and religious farmer who takes care of Christina Ricci’s character, Rae after being beaten and along the side of the road for refusing the advances of her boyfriend Ronnie’s (played by Timberlake) friend, Gill, while Ronnie is deployed with the Tennessee National Guard. Lazarus tries to help Rae, a nymphomaniac and drug user, get rid of her sin-filled ways. Eventually, after realizing through a series of events that he has no hold on Rae, Lazarus opts to let her go, but she stays willingly. Eventually Ronnie returns, and through a series of lies told by Gill, Ronnie believes Rae is cheating on him. At the film’s conclusion, it was determined by Ronnie and Rae that they are better together and agree to get married.
The film garnered mixed reviews. For example, popular review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes gave the film a 65 percent fresh rating based on a total of 150 reviews, where the average rating out of 10 was 6.3. Kevin Smith, who filled in for Roger Ebert on the show “Ebert & Roeper” said the film was one of the best of the year. He praised the acting of Jackson and Banner. Hover, not all reviews were good. Film4’s Matt Glasby only gave the film, out of five stars, one, saying it was a “pressure-cooked mess.” It was also criticized highly by many feminist activist organizations for the depiction of sexualized violence.