Most Popular Abolitionist Movies and TV Shows

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1. 12 Years a Slave (2013)

R | 134 min | Biography, Drama, History

8.1
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
96 Metascore

In the antebellum United States, Solomon Northup, a free black man from upstate New York, is abducted and sold into slavery.

Director: Steve McQueen | Stars: Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Kenneth Williams, Michael Fassbender, Brad Pitt

Votes: 589,387 | Gross: $56.67M

2. Cloud Atlas (2012)

R | 172 min | Action, Drama, Mystery

7.4
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
55 Metascore

An exploration of how the actions of individual lives impact one another in the past, present and future, as one soul is shaped from a killer into a hero, and an act of kindness ripples across centuries to inspire a revolution.

Directors: Tom Tykwer, Lana Wachowski, Lilly Wachowski | Stars: Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, Hugh Grant, Hugo Weaving

Votes: 330,275 | Gross: $27.11M

3. Live by Night (2016)

R | 129 min | Action, Crime, Drama

6.4
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  
49 Metascore

A group of Boston-bred gangsters set up shop in balmy Florida during the Prohibition era, facing off against the competition and the Ku Klux Klan.

Director: Ben Affleck | Stars: Ben Affleck, Elle Fanning, Brendan Gleeson, Chris Messina

Votes: 48,315 | Gross: $10.38M

4. Amistad (1997)

R | 155 min | Drama, History

7.3
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
63 Metascore

In 1839, the revolt of Mende captives aboard a Spanish owned ship causes a major controversy in the United States when the ship is captured off the coast of Long Island. The courts must decide whether the Mende are slaves or legally free.

Director: Steven Spielberg | Stars: Djimon Hounsou, Matthew McConaughey, Anthony Hopkins, Morgan Freeman

Votes: 66,984 | Gross: $44.18M

5. The Birth of a Nation (1915)

Not Rated | 195 min | Drama, History, War

6.4
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

The Stoneman family finds its friendship with the Camerons affected by the Civil War, both fighting in opposite armies. The development of the war in their lives plays through to Lincoln's assassination and the birth of the Ku Klux Klan.

Director: D.W. Griffith | Stars: Lillian Gish, Mae Marsh, Henry B. Walthall, Miriam Cooper

Votes: 20,814 | Gross: $10.00M

6. North and South, Book I (1985)

561 min | Drama, History, Romance

8.1
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

Two friends, one northern and one southern, struggle to maintain their friendship as events build towards the American Civil War.

Stars: Kirstie Alley, Georg Stanford Brown, David Carradine, Philip Casnoff

Votes: 8,911

7. Belle (2013)

PG | 100 min | Biography, Drama, Romance

7.4
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
64 Metascore

The mixed-race daughter of a Royal Navy Admiral is raised by her aristocratic great-uncle in 18th-century England.

Director: Amma Asante | Stars: Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Matthew Goode, Emily Watson, Miranda Richardson

Votes: 26,252 | Gross: $10.73M

8. Ride with the Devil (I) (1999)

R | 138 min | Drama, Romance, War

6.7
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
69 Metascore

During the American Civil War, two friends join the Bushwhackers, a militant group loyal to the Confederacy.

Director: Ang Lee | Stars: Tobey Maguire, Skeet Ulrich, Jewel Kilcher, Jeremy W. Auman

Votes: 12,365 | Gross: $0.63M

9. Amazing Grace (2006)

PG | 118 min | Biography, Drama, History

7.4
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
65 Metascore

The idealist William Wilberforce maneuvers his way through Parliament, endeavoring to end the British transatlantic slave trade.

Director: Michael Apted | Stars: Ioan Gruffudd, Albert Finney, Michael Gambon, Romola Garai

Votes: 23,125 | Gross: $21.21M

10. Santa Fe Trail (1940)

Not Rated | 110 min | Adventure, Biography, Drama

6.3
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

In 1854, Jeb Stuart, George Custer and other graduates from West Point are posted to Kansas to help pacify the territory before railroad construction to Santa Fe can resume.

Director: Michael Curtiz | Stars: Errol Flynn, Olivia de Havilland, Raymond Massey, Ronald Reagan

Votes: 2,913

11. A Quiet Passion (2016)

PG-13 | 125 min | Biography, Drama

6.5
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  
77 Metascore

The story of American poet Emily Dickinson from her early days as a young schoolgirl to her later years as a reclusive, unrecognized artist.

Director: Terence Davies | Stars: Emma Bell, Sara Vertongen, Rose Williams, Benjamin Wainwright

Votes: 4,719 | Gross: $1.86M

12. RBG (2018)

PG | 98 min | Documentary, Biography

7.5
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
71 Metascore

The exceptional life and career of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who has developed a breathtaking legal legacy while becoming an unexpected pop culture icon.

Directors: Julie Cohen, Betsy West | Stars: Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Ann Kittner, Harryette Helsel, Nina Totenberg

Votes: 8,926 | Gross: $14.02M

13. North and South, Book II (1986)

570 min | Drama, History, Romance

8.1
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

The story of two friends and their families on opposite sides of the American Civil War.

Stars: Kirstie Alley, David Carradine, Philip Casnoff, Mary Crosby

Votes: 4,439

14. Abraham Lincoln (1930)

Passed | 96 min | Biography, Drama, History

5.7
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

An episodic biography of the 16th President of the United States.

Director: D.W. Griffith | Stars: Walter Huston, Una Merkel, William L. Thorne, Lucille La Verne

Votes: 1,229

15. The White Slave (2016– )

60 min | History

8.1
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

In Colombia in 1821, a Spanish plantation gets burned down, and only the planters' baby is spared. She gets sent to Spain, but concocts a plan to return home and become an abolitionist.

Stars: Jose Luis Garcia Campos, Adrian Makala, Norma Martínez, Ricardo Vesga

Votes: 397

16. Band of Angels (1957)

Not Rated | 125 min | Drama, History, Romance

6.6
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Amantha Starr grows up as a privileged southern Belle in the ante-bellum South, but after her father dies broke, her world is destroyed when she discovers her mother was black.

Director: Raoul Walsh | Stars: Clark Gable, Yvonne De Carlo, Sidney Poitier, Efrem Zimbalist Jr.

Votes: 1,919

17. The House of the Seven Gables (1940)

Approved | 89 min | Drama, Thriller

7.0
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Fighting over an inheritance, one Pyncheon brother frames the other for murder.

Director: Joe May | Stars: George Sanders, Margaret Lindsay, Vincent Price, Dick Foran

Votes: 873

18. A Woman Called Moses (1978– )

240 min | Biography, Drama

7.5
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A film about the life and career of the African American abolitionist and slave escape leader, Harriet Tubman.

Stars: Jason Bernard, Clifford David, Judyann Elder, John Getz

Votes: 204

19. Skin Game (1971)

PG | 102 min | Comedy, Romance, Western

7.0
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  
73 Metascore

In 1857, con man Quincy Drew and his black friend Jason O'Rourke swindle slave owners into buying Jason, who's a free man, and later share the profits when Jason escapes captivity.

Directors: Paul Bogart, Gordon Douglas | Stars: James Garner, Louis Gossett Jr., Susan Clark, Brenda Sykes

Votes: 1,384

20. C.S.A.: The Confederate States of America (2004)

PG-13 | 89 min | Comedy, Drama, War

6.4
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  
62 Metascore

Through the eyes of a British "documentary", this film takes a satirically humorous, and sometimes frightening, look at the history of an America where the South won the Civil War.

Director: Kevin Willmott | Stars: Greg Kirsch, Renee Patrick, Molly Graham, William Willmott

Votes: 4,532 | Gross: $0.67M

21. Abe Lincoln in Illinois (1940)

Approved | 110 min | Biography, Drama, History

7.3
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Humble Abraham Lincoln gains the respect of his Illinois neighbors, growing in stature and respect until he is elected President in 1860 and departs for Washington.

Director: John Cromwell | Stars: Raymond Massey, Gene Lockhart, Ruth Gordon, Mary Howard

Votes: 1,561

22. Race to Freedom: The Underground Railroad (1994 TV Movie)

Not Rated | 91 min | Drama, History

6.4
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

A number of slaves risk their lives to escape their masters with their only help coming from the famous secret slave escape network.

Director: Don McBrearty | Stars: Falconer Abraham, Dwight Bacquie, Janet Bailey, Nigel Bennett

Votes: 147

23. The French Revolution (2005 TV Movie)

100 min | Documentary, History

7.4
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Documentary about the bloody beginning, bloodier middle and unceremonious end of the French Revolution, an event that ended in blood the reign of kings in France and laid the foundation for a new - republican - system of government.

Director: Doug Shultz | Stars: Edward Herrmann, George Ivascu, Rodica Lazar, Tomi Cristin

Votes: 266

24. Seven Angry Men (1955)

Not Rated | 90 min | Biography, History, Western

6.5
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Rise, fall and execution of John Brown, fanatic abolitionist.

Director: Charles Marquis Warren | Stars: Raymond Massey, Debra Paget, Jeffrey Hunter, Larry Pennell

Votes: 299

25. I Am John Brown

160 min | Biography | Pre-production

The story of one of the greatest civil rights leaders in American history, John Brown was a white American abolitionist who believed armed insurrection was the only way to overthrow the ... See full summary »

Director: Stanley V. Henson Jr. | Stars: Jack Covington III, Sid Burston, David Dortch, Anna Leonard

26. Enslavement: The True Story of Fanny Kemble (2000 TV Movie)

120 min | Biography, Drama

6.8
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

True story from the 19th century about an English actress who marries a US plantation owner. Appalled by slavery, she dedicates her life to oppose it and her husband and help her husband's slaves in any way possible, including escaping.

Director: James Keach | Stars: Jane Seymour, Keith Carradine, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Janet-Laine Green

Votes: 229

27. The Gallant Legion (1948)

Passed | 88 min | Action, Adventure, Drama

6.9
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

When power-hungry Faulkner and Leroux want to divide Texas into smaller sections, instead of allowing it to enter the Union as a single state, Gary Conway and the Texas Rangers must step in... See full summary »

Director: Joseph Kane | Stars: Bill Elliott, Lorna Gray, Joseph Schildkraut, Bruce Cabot

Votes: 79

28. Lions Among Men (2011)

22 min | Short, Action, Adventure

7.2
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

After masking her identity as a woman and joining the British Royal Navy in 1808, Victoria finds herself shipwrecked on an unknown island with the Lieutenant who betrayed her, the slave ... See full summary »

Director: Traci Hays | Stars: Johanna Watts, Dayo Okeniyi, Crispian Belfrage, Jonah Priour

Votes: 24

29. Call + Response (2008)

PG-13 | 86 min | Documentary, History, Music

7.1
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
43 Metascore

Fair Trade Pictures to support human rights activism against human trafficking and slavery on a community level.

Director: Justin Dillon | Stars: Madeleine Albright, Kevin Bales, David Batstone, Natasha Bedingfield

Votes: 60 | Gross: $0.22M

30. Underground (2020)

Short, Drama | Post-production

In the extravagant whaling city of 1850s New Bedford, MA, one family is conflicted and divided by the treatment of African Americans during the height of slavery in pre-civil war America. ... See full summary »

Director: Xavier Garcia | Stars: Arissa Page, Jose Guns Alves, Thomas Grower, David Pridemore

31. The Underground Railroad (1999 TV Movie)

95 min | Documentary, History, War

7.4
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

The history of the Underground Railroad.

Director: Jeff Lengyel | Star: Alfre Woodard

Votes: 29

32. Friendly Persuasion (1975 TV Movie)

100 min | Drama

7.3
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

During the Civil War, a Quaker couple risks their lives by helping runaway slaves.

Director: Joseph Sargent | Stars: Richard Kiley, Shirley Knight, Clifton James, Michael O'Keefe

Votes: 21

33. Grace Bedell (2010)

17 min | Short, Drama, History

Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  

The true story of a little girl, who in 1860, wrote to presidential candidate Abraham Lincoln suggesting he grow whiskers.

Director: Eric Burdett | Stars: Lana Esslinger, Mark Esslinger, Elizabeth Lackey, Pasha D. Lychnikoff

34. Over the River... The Life of Lydia Maria Child Abolitionist for Freedom (2007)

140 min | Documentary

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The documentary film "Over the River...Life of Lydia Maria Child, Abolitionist for Freedom" is the first of its kind to present abolitionists in the light they deserve. Lydia Maria Child (... See full summary »

Director: Constance Jackson | Stars: James Moses Black, Diahann Carroll, Deborah Clifford, Peter Doyle

35. Dear America: A Picture of Freedom (1999 TV Short)

TV-Y7 | 30 min | Short, Drama, Family

7.0
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Living on a Southern plantation before the Civil War, a young slave girl secretly learns how to read and write, and determines to teach others.

Director: Helaine Head | Stars: Shadia Simmons, Alison Sealy-Smith, Erica Luttrell, Jason Burke

Votes: 51

36. Untitled John Brown Project

Biography | Announced

True story of the abolitionist John Brown's transformation from a lowly 50-year old farmer to a notorious anti-slavery freedom fighter in Kansas to lead of a famed1859 raid on Harper's Ferry

37. Victor Schoelcher, l'abolition (1998 TV Movie)

90 min | Drama, History

7.0
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

The struggle of Victor Schoelcher for the abolition of slavery in the French colonies.

Director: Paul Vecchiali | Stars: Jacques Perrin, François Marthouret, Pierre Santini, Robert Benoît

Votes: 18

38. Amusing Evil

122 min | Action, Comedy, Crime | Announced

A test of trust.

39. Donaldina: Based on True Events in the Life of Donaldina Cameron

History | Announced

When the most powerful human trafficker in 1911 San Francisco kills a key witness against him, a courageous Scottish American woman and her cohorts join forces to take him down and deal at death blow to "modern-day slavery."

40. Volition (2008)

15 min | Short, Drama

8.3
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

Sometimes the choice of inaction has consequences stronger than we could ever imagine. Throughout history, men have been faced with difficult choices in a world that makes it easy for them ... See full summary »

Director: T. Jara Morgan | Stars: Bill Hearnburg, Victoria Leigh, Luke Michael Williams

Votes: 7

41. The Truth About Anarchy: Past, Present and Future (2018 Video)

Not Rated | 37 min | News, Talk-Show

Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  

Twenty-five miles west of San Francisco lies a group of islands that few residents of the City even know about. Yet, the Farallon Islands are a true wilderness area, and the number and ... See full summary »

Stars: Dave Smith, Stefan Molyneux

42. Biography (1987– )
Episode: Allan Pinkerton: The Original Private Eye

Documentary, Biography

Alan Pinkerman was a Scotish immigrant who escaped the slums of Glasgow to found the first, and for a time, the world's most prominent detective agency in the United States. His many ... See full summary »

Stars: Jack Perkins, Allan Pinkerton

43. Voyagers! (1982–1983)
Episode: Created Equal (1982)

49 min | Adventure, Family, Sci-Fi

7.4
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Arriving in ancient Rome, Phineas and Jeffrey must save the slave Spartacus so that he can lead the revolt in Capra. They also meet a young Sam Clemens and help Harriet Tubman escape.

Director: Virgil W. Vogel | Stars: Jon-Erik Hexum, Meeno Peluce, Ed Bakey, Leigh Hamilton

Votes: 43

44. North and South, Book II (1986)
Episode: December 1864 - February 1865 (1986)

95 min | Drama, History, Romance

7.8
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

Charles and Orry set out to rescue George Hazard, who is being held at Libby Prison in Richmond. They make sure he gets back to Union Lines and he makes it home for Christmas. As he ... See full summary »

Director: Kevin Connor | Stars: Kirstie Alley, David Carradine, Philip Casnoff, Mary Crosby

Votes: 99

45. North and South, Book I (1985)
Episode: Episode #1.1 (1985)

93 min | Drama, History, Romance

7.9
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

1842, Orry Main leaves Mont Royal, the cotton plantation near Charleston (South Carolina) he's heir to, on his way to West Point for two years of officer's training. On the way he stops a ... See full summary »

Director: Richard T. Heffron | Stars: Kirstie Alley, Georg Stanford Brown, David Carradine, Philip Casnoff

Votes: 158

46. North and South, Book I (1985)
Episode: Episode #1.2 (1985)

93 min | Drama, History, Romance

7.7
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

To distract Orry, whose brooding about Madeline wrecks his West Point performance, George drags him to Alice Peet for laundry and 'intimate' services. After Bent arranges for Fisk to be ... See full summary »

Director: Richard T. Heffron | Stars: Kirstie Alley, Georg Stanford Brown, David Carradine, Philip Casnoff

Votes: 141

47. North and South, Book I (1985)
Episode: Episode #1.3 (1985)

93 min | Drama, History, Romance

7.6
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

1848, Orry plucks run-away slave Priam from the train Madelin suggested to flee on, George uses their friendship to let him escape. Three weeks later, Orry is best man when George weds ... See full summary »

Director: Richard T. Heffron | Stars: Kirstie Alley, Georg Stanford Brown, David Carradine, Philip Casnoff

Votes: 134

48. North and South, Book I (1985)
Episode: Episode #1.4 (1985)

94 min | Drama, History, Romance

7.6
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

In 1854, the Hazards pay a visit to Mont Royal. Billy loses his interest in Ashton when he sees her in the cotton barn with another man and soon turns his interest to the demure Brett. ... See full summary »

Director: Richard T. Heffron | Stars: Kirstie Alley, Georg Stanford Brown, David Carradine, Philip Casnoff

Votes: 119

49. North and South, Book I (1985)
Episode: Episode #1.5 (1985)

93 min | Drama, History, Romance

7.7
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Having locked Madeline in her room and nearly starving her to death, Justin convinces the doctor that her condition is self-inflicted. The doctor prescribes his own tonic and a daily dose ... See full summary »

Director: Richard T. Heffron | Stars: Kirstie Alley, Georg Stanford Brown, David Carradine, Philip Casnoff

Votes: 118

50. North and South, Book I (1985)
Episode: Episode #1.6 (1985)

94 min | Drama, History, Romance

7.9
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

With Abe Lincoln's election as President, secessionist feelings are running high. George Hazard pays a surprise visit to Orry at Mont Royal to apologize for what his fanatical sister said ... See full summary »

Director: Richard T. Heffron | Stars: Kirstie Alley, Georg Stanford Brown, David Carradine, Philip Casnoff

Votes: 128



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