Barry Jenkins‘ new Amazon series The Underground Railroad is a profound visual epic. Based on novelist Colson Whitehead’s modern masterpiece and clocking in at about 600 minutes long, it’s a tour de force from a rising genius in the film world. Jenkins has already conquered traditional cinema with such tender films as Moonlight and If Beale Street Could Talk, but The Underground Railroad challenges the artist further. Story-wise, it is a leviathan, pulling its heroine Cora (Thuso Mbedu) through a harrowing odyssey across a stormy sea of misadventure. Jenkins uses his command of visual language to immerse us in Cora’s journey, but he also uses sound. Whether it’s the way he leans into the sharp, violent bang of a bullwhip or lets Nicholas Britell’s score subtly ratchet up tension, The Underground Railroad proves that Barry Jenkins isn’t just a genius at visual storytelling, but deploying sound, as well.